15:59 25 Feb 2024

Over 28,000 Ukrainian citizens held prisoner in Russia – Ombudsman Lubinets

The Russian Federation is holding 28,000 Ukrainian citizens captive, so there was a proposal to create a coalition for the return of civilians.

Human rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said this during the "Ukraine. Year 2024" forum.

"According to our unofficial data, approximately 28 thousand citizens of Ukraine are in Russian torture chambers: journalists, representatives of local self-government, churches, and international representatives.

Three official representatives of the OSCE were detained in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and we have not been able to release them for several years. And all this time, Russia is a member of the OSCE," the commissioner emphasized.

In addition, Lubinets explained that exchanging civilians for civilians is prohibited by international law. Therefore, Ukraine is looking for new approaches and countries that can join the process of returning civilian hostages.

"As of now, I can say that the last trip to Qatar was a week ago; at the meeting with the prime minister, it was said that they are ready to try their efforts to return civilian hostages. We need to create an international coalition for the return of civilian hostages," the ombudsman emphasized.

As noted on November 17, the Ministry of Reintegration said that 4,337 Ukrainians were captured — this is the number that was established. That is, there are 3,574 military personnel and 763 civilians. 1953 of them were released from captivity.

It should be noted that the last exchange of prisoners took place on August 7. Then Ukraine returned another 22 defenders from Russian captivity. Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine's parliament – ed.] Commissioner for Human Rights, said that this was the 48th exchange that was successfully held. After that, no new exchanges took place.

For reference:

On February 25, in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, the "Ukraine. Year 2024" forum was held, dedicated to the second anniversary of the full-scale confrontation with Russia.

The event format included panel discussions and a press conference with the President of Ukraine.

During his speech, the Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, said that the goal of producing 1 million FPV drones in 2024, previously announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky, will be exceeded in Ukraine.

In addition, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, speaking at the forum, noted that half of the weapons supplies do not arrive in Ukraine on time, within the specified time limits, making work very difficult at the front.

In his turn, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's armed forces, Vadym Sukharevskyi, said that the Unmanned Systems Forces will support the combat brigades at the front, and this will help to respond asymmetrically to the enemy's actions.

The head of the Cabinet of Ministers [Ukraine's government – ed.], Denys Shmyhal, also spoke at the forum, indicating the critical tasks of the Ukrainian government for 2024.


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