The Ukrainian Parliament’s Human Rights Commissioner, Dimitro Lubinets, has reported that Ukrainian authorities estimate that at least 20,000 civilians have been held captive by Russia since the outbreak of the war.
Lubinets has stressed that these figures are »approximate» and are based on personal complaints presented to the Ukrainian authorities by relatives and friends of those allegedly held by Russia, according to UNIAN agency.
In fact, the Human Rights commissioner has ventured to assure that the real number of detained civilians is »much higher» due to the fact that the population of the territories occupied by Russia is not able to contact the Ukrainian institutions.
»After we recover all Ukrainian territories, this number will be much higher,» said Lubinets, who took the opportunity to inform that Kiev and Moscow are in »communication» for the exchange of prisoners.
Russian and Ukrainian authorities have carried out several prisoner exchanges since the outbreak, one of the few agreements reached between the two sides. Kiev has confirmed the return of nearly 2,280 Ukrainian prisoners, 140 of them civilians.
Russia, for its part, has received a similar number of POWs, as the exchanges have mostly taken place with the same numbers released.
Source: (EUROPA PRESS)