President: We must return all Ukrainians illegally deported to Russian Federation

President: We must return all Ukrainians illegally deported to Russian Federation

President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the need to return home all Ukrainians illegally deported and held by Russia.

He stated this in a speech at the International Conference "Human Rights in Dark Times" dedicated to the 74th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

In particular, Zelensky noted that Ukraine had already returned 1,331 Ukrainian service members from Russian captivity.

"I am very proud of this result for our country. I’m speaking about protecting people again. Wherever they are, we have to bring everyone back. This is our duty. And at a time when, to put it mildly, we do not see determination and concrete actions of organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross in the relevant processes, we have to look for and find new formats, new people in new realities, new formats of interaction, new lines of cooperation," Zelensky emphasized.

He drew attention to the presence of Chris Field, President of the International Ombudsman Institute, at the conference and also mentioned the activities of Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets who joined the efforts to release Ukrainian military and civilians from Russian captivity.

"Perhaps, this system – the ombudsman system and the international component of cooperation in this system will be able to bring you and me closer to the desired result – the return of everyone home. All Ukrainians: adults, children, prisoners of war, political prisoners, all those who are forcibly held in the territory of the Russian Federation and in the temporarily occupied territories of our state. It's worth at least trying, I think," Zelensky said.

In addition, he emphasized that the restoration of justice for Ukraine requires the utmost possible cooperation of all.

"There must be a unified legal front that will overcome Russia's genocidal policy, and that is why I address you and call every day on all government officials and all representatives of the public, civil society, who care about people, care about humanity, representatives of various international organizations, representatives of international human rights organizations, agencies, to work now in a coordinated manner, together at all levels, together for the sake of restoring the rights of people violated by the war, the rights of Ukrainians, and to hold the aggressor to mandatory and fair account," the President stressed.

According to him, it is necessary to find "such a formula of cooperation that would bring the most effective result for our state, for the international legal order."


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