The Ukrainian and the Russian will swim 120 kilometers for peace in Syria

The Sevastopol swimmer Oleg Sofianik and his Russian colleague Shamil Alimuradov have started the 120 kilometer long swim dedicated to peace in Syria.

The Swimmers started in Antalya, Turkey. The swimmers will swim in turns and will cover the distance between Antalya and Alanya. The temperature of the sea water is 21 degrees. The money collected during the activity will be sent to Syria to help the children of Syria suffering from war.

The previous swims of Sofianik have failed several times. This year his 90 kilometer long swim near the shores of Syria has failed. And last year he couldn’t finish his 150 kilometer long swim because the coastal guard of Syria didn’t let him swim into the waters of Syria.

The swimmer from Sevastopol Oleg Sofianik has swum about 60 marathon swims the longest of which is the 350 kilometers long swim through the South China Sea. He also has swam across the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus (he has swam it across and along together with the journalist Roman Chernenko), the Dardanelles. Besides he took part in the marathon swims for the distance of 100 kilometers along the shores of the Crimea.

Interesting is the fact that Sofianik is a dissident. He was subjected to the punishing mental cure because he refused from service in army and from citizenship of the USSR. In October 1985 he bought a ticket for the cruise steam boat “Moldavia” following from Odessa to Batumi. He took an inflatable boat with him. In the end of October at night somewhere between Sukhumi and Batumi he jumped out of the board with the intention to reach Turkey. On the third day he was detained by the patrol boat. He was accused according to the article 75 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic “Illegal cross of the board”. When the officials of the KGB asked him why he has chosen such a risky escape he answered that it was better to get drowned in the sea than to live in the USSR.

On April, 14 Oleg Sofianik and the head of the local federation of winter swimming Valerii Veselui swam across the Sevastopol bay to support the Ukrainian wide political meeting “Rise Ukraine” (Ukraino Vstavai). In such a way the participants of the swim expressed their support of the opposition against the current government and support for pulling down the monuments of the totalitarian Bolshevik regime and for ban of the Soviet symbolic.

In 1985 Shamil Alimuradov as the second pilot during the flight of the passenger plane that flew from Yakutsk threatening with a knife put the crew aside from control of the plane. He took the plane under his control and directed the plane to China where he successfully landed the plane on the Chinese territory. He was arrested by the Chinese authorities and was convoyed with the special train to the prison in Kharbina. On June, 22 1990 the Supreme Court of he Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic sentenced Shamil Alimuradov to the 5 years of detention camp of the strict regime. He served the sentence in the detention camp in Yakutia and then in Kemerovo.

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