Russia Kidnaps Ukrainian Civilians to Exchange for Russian POWs

by Olha Povaliaieva
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Russia Kidnaps Ukrainian Civilians to Exchange for Russian POWs

Ukrainians return from captivity with traces of torture, some with amputated limbs

In an interview with the BBC, the ombudsman of Ukraine, Iryna Vereshchuk spoke about another type of violation of the Geneva Convention by Russia. They make prisoners of war not from soldiers but the peaceful, unarmed Ukrainians. People are captured and taken to Russia for the purpose of further exchange for fellow prisoners of war.

As of today, 1.186.000 Ukrainians have been forcibly taken to Russia. Some of them were sent to forced labor in impoverished regions of Russia, some were taken prisoner.

"We know that there are more than a thousand hostages, including almost 500 women. We know that they are in prisons and detention centers in Kursk, Bryansk, Ryazan, Rostov."

Ukraine refuses to make an illegal exchange, which is contrary to the norms of the Geneva Convention and demands the return of the civilians who have been called in. In addition, if one day Russia makes concessions, it will continue and intensify the policy of kidnapping civilians and manipulating their lives. Another negative factor in the process of returning civilians is that the Russians do not want to release Ukrainian women.

"We get women almost with pliers. Now we refuse to carry out an exchange without women on the list," Iryna Vereshchuk.

Vereshchuk told the BBC that 9 Ukrainian civilians were returned from captivity with severe injuries, signs of torture, and even amputated limbs.

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