Since March, Russians have taken 453 people hostage in Zaporizhia region

Since March, Russians have taken 453 people hostage in Zaporizhia region

In the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhia region, 191 Ukrainians are being held hostage by the Russian forces.

Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhia Regional Military Administration, said this in an interview with Ukrinform.

"Since March (as of July 30 - ed.), Russian forces have taken 453 hostages in Zaporizhia region. They are not prisoners of war, they are hostages," Starukh said.

The administration chief specified that 191 of 453 are still being held captive: six representatives of local authorities, 13 entrepreneurs, and 27 heads of enterprises, institutions, establishments, and organizations. "They haven’t been released. They put them in basements, shock them with electricity, abuse them, extort money, exert pressure on their families, and threaten to abduct their children," he said.

Read also: Zelensky: War will not stop life in Ukraine or make us hostages to horrors it has brought

Starukh added that five minors were also taken hostage, of which three have already been released. "Russians are simply waging terror. There are thousands of people who are detained for a day or two, being subjected to threats and extortion," the official emphasized.

He noted that such citizens are not prisoners of war, but hostages. Despite this, several dozen of them were freed through the swap procedure. However, no such exchanges have been held recently.

In addition, Starukh informed that, according to available reports, the Russians are holding hostages on the territory of Ukraine, while "some were taken to Donbas and some – to Crimea."

At the same time, there is currently no confirmation of the forcible deportation of hostages.

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