13 June 2022
The Russians have been holding at least 33 volunteer drivers captive for more than two months. Two of them are in need of immediate medical attention.
Relatives and friends of the prisoners told Ukrainska Pravda. Zhyttia about the situation.
The drivers were detained as they went to pick up relatives from the war zone or evacuate other civilians from Mariupol.
They are accused of "terrorism", and the authorities want to imprison them for 5-10 years. None of them is in the military.
At first these people were kept in occupied Olenivka, but then they were taken to a pre-trial detention centre in Donetsk.
The youngest driver is 21 and the oldest is 59.
Despite the fact that the volunteers are actually in captivity, they are not included in any [prisoner] lists.
Their families are therefore demanding that the authorities in the temporarily occupied areas of the Donetsk region acknowledge that the drivers are on their territory and put their names on the exchange lists.
"We would like to know what sort of conditions the volunteer drivers are in now. We would like to know why they are there, because no charges have been filed. We want them to be included in the lists and later released. It is unclear what the Russians are accusing them of, what evidence base they are using," said Alevtyna Shevtsova, a friend of one of the prisoners.
The prisoners’ families are calling for doctors and human rights organisations to be given access to the prisoners.
"We are asking for volunteers of the International Committee of the Red Cross to be allowed to visit them, because at least two of them need immediate medical care," Alevtyna added.
It was previously known that 25 volunteer drivers have been held captive by the Russians since March.