More than 400 Ukrainians stay behind bars in occupied territories

More than 400 Ukrainians stay behind bars in occupied territories

Ukrinform
More than 400 Ukrainian citizens are being held in pre-trial detention centers and prisons in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea.

Acting head of the Anti-Terrorist Center at the Security Service of Ukraine Yuri Malashko made a corresponding statement at a round table meeting entitled “Political and religious persecution in the occupied territories”, Ukrinform reports with reference to Suspilne.

According to Malashko, about 260 people are jailed in the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine. Another 148 citizens are held in captivity in Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia.

In turn, Natalia Zaretska, representative of the President’s Office, stated that the Russian authorities are not interested in a prisoner exchange.

"The keys to prisons are in the Kremlin. Ukraine is doing everything possible for the exchange and mutual release to take place but this process requires the desire of both parties," Zaretska said.

As reported, head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kravchuk said that the exchange of detainees between Ukraine and the occupied Donbas is unlikely to take place until the end of 2020 because the Russian side has not submitted its candidates for exchange and criticizes the Ukrainian list.

During a video conference on December 16, the Ukrainian delegation of the TCG called on the Russian side to support the Joint Action Plan which, in particular, provides for releasing detainees and unblocking border crossing points. A representative of the Russian Federation was absent at the conference.

As reported, the families of 53 Ukrainian citizens, who were illegally detained by the Russian Federation and currently stay behind bars in the Russian Federation and are held in the temporarily occupied territories, will receive financial assistance of UAH 100,000 each.

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