The Russian occupiers are taking massive numbers of civilians hostage — Vereshchuk

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says the Russian occupiers are capturing massive numbers of peaceful Ukrainians, but international humanitarian law prohibits the exchange of Russian prisoners of war for Ukrainian civilians. 

Comment: Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk:

“We have many civilians held hostage – mayors, journalists, volunteers, priests, women who worked as shop assistants – people who have never taken up arms. Today they are held hostage by terrorists. And we don’t have anyone to exchange them for.

I ask the people I’m negotiating with: ‘Do we need to capture Russians all over the world and put them up as an exchange fund?! How can we make you release our journalists and our priests? 

What can we do – we are a civilized country, not pirates, not terrorists. We can’t capture civilians”.

Vereshchuk appealed to international human rights organisations to help Ukraine put pressure on Russia to release the journalists, priests and ordinary Ukrainians being held hostage. 

According to her, about 600 Russian prisoners-of-war are currently being held captive in Ukraine. 

Source: Ukrainian Pravda


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