Over 37,000 persons confirmed as missing in Ukraine - ombudsman

Over 37,000 persons confirmed as missing in Ukraine - ombudsman

The Unified register of persons who went missing under special circumstances currently contains files on more than 37,000 citizens.

Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said this during at an event in Kyiv, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"We currently have a unified register of persons that went missing under special circumstances. It is in the process of data being filed, and according to the latest report I received yesterday, there are more than 37,000 Ukrainian citizens in the register today," the ombudsman noted.

According to him, these are civilian adults and children, as well as military servicemen.

He said that the number of people on the list will grow.

Read also: Lubinets calls on two international committees to visit Ukrainian POW detention facilities

Separately, Lubinets informed that Russia had been abducting and imprisoning Ukrainian civilians since the outset of its armed aggression, that is, since 2014.

According to the ombudsman, the Russians violate international humanitarian law because there is a direct provision of the 4th Geneva Convention, namely Article 3, which prohibits the warring parties from taking civilians hostage.

Read also: People disappear in temporarily occupied territories after being detained by security forces

"There is a norm, but the Russian Federation continues to do it. And the problem, probably, is that they have faced no liability for violating of that norm," believes the human rights representative of the Verkhovna Rada.

He noted that the Russian Federation has not provided any information on held civilians for the past 10 years.

The Ombudsman stated that the Ukrainian authorities repeatedly used their communication channels with the Russian side, in particular, he personally had contacts with the Russian counterpart Tatyana Moskalkova, during which the issues of held civilians is repeatedly raised.

"Unfortunately, this has yielded no result so far. That’s precisely because we cannot receive any information from Russia, we do not see the exact number of those illegally detained by the aggressor state," Lubinets informed.

According to the ombudsperson, no one can say, even theoretically, how much time the Ukrainian authorities need to return all civilians who are currently held captive by Russia, because there is currently no toolkit on how to achieve this result.

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