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Over 14,000 Ukrainians in Russian captivity – Ukraine's Ombudsman 

Sunday, 30 June 2024, 17:35

The Russians hold around 14,000 civilian Ukrainians in captivity, and it is extremely difficult to bring them back, unlike the soldiers or children.

Source: Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliamentary) Commissioner for Human Rights, writes Interfax-Ukraine news agency 


Details: The Ombudsman explained that in the case of civilian Ukrainians, no exchanges are conducted, only returns.

Quote: "We cannot change them, we have no additional influence on the Russian Federation. We do not even have a legal framework on the basis of which we can carry out this process," said Dmytro Lubinets.

At the same time, Ukraine, according to the Commissioner, is currently attempting to bring back nearly 20,000 children and "tens of thousands" of Ukrainians who are considered missing.


On 28 June, Ukraine liberated 10 civilians from Russian captivity. The list of those released included Nariman Dzhelyal, who was captured in Crimea in 2021, and priests of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, who were captured in Berdiansk for resisting the Russians.

According to the Ombudsman, this was the Vatican's first involvement in the campaign aiming to bring back adult Ukrainian civilians. Previously, the Holy See was only focused on assisting children.

"Until now, they (the Vatican – ed.) have assisted us with bringing back Ukrainian children. We are in direct connection with them. I hope this return will mark a new beginning...

Perhaps we finally opened a new channel of contact, and the [opportunity of] bringing back civilian citizens of Ukraine", said Dmytro Lubinets.

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