In May, ICRC confirms captivity of hundreds of missing Ukrainians - report

In May, ICRC confirms captivity of hundreds of missing Ukrainians - report

Last month, the International Committee of the Red Cross managed to confirm that hundreds of missing Ukrainians are in fact held in Russian captivity.

That’s according to Oleksandr Vlasenko, the spokesman for ICRC in Ukraine, who spoke in an interview with Tyzhden, Ukrinform reports.

"Recently, around mid-May, we had a large number of messages for the relatives of the missing persons because we received confirmation of their relative being held in captivity, as well as the places where they are held. Reports on hundreds of these missing persons were received in those two to three weeks," said Vlasenko.

The spokesman noted that this information came from the Russian National Information Bureau.

Read also: Russia must give ICRC access to all Ukrainian POWs - EU statement

Vlasenko explained that only after the status of a prisoner of war is confirmed can the ICRC demand access to a person, although the organization has no coercive tools to apply.

He explained that a person shall be considered missing until the ICRC receives confirmation from the National Information Bureau of the Russian Federation that they are held in captivity.

"Even if the person who opens the case with us saw the missing person in some Telegram channel yesterday, this is not a confirmation for us. We cannot verify that the video wasn’t doctored, and we have to get data from an official body that the person is really in that location. In this case, we can inform the relatives that we have found the person," added Vlasenko.

The spokesperson for the ICRC concluded that only after confirming the status, "another mechanism is activated where we demand access to that person."

As Ukrinform reported earlier, public organizations say over 10,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war are held in Russian prisons.

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