More than 3,000 Ukrainian servicemen are still in Russian captivity and another 15,000 people are considered missing, Aliona Verbytska, presidential envoy for ensuring the rights of Ukrainian defenders, said in an interview with RND on Dec. 30.
According to her, Russia confirmed that 3,392 Ukrainian soldiers are in captivity. Meanwhile, Verbytska notes that about 15,000 soldiers and civilians are considered missing.
“We don’t know what has happened to them (the missing ones). Whether they are prisoners of war (POW's) kept in Russia, or they were forcibly relocated from the territories occupied by Russia, or perhaps they were killed a long time ago. Such uncertainty is especially hard for relatives,” she said.
Verbytska says that Russia continues to systematically violate the Geneva Conventions and does not allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit POW's.
Russia and Ukraine conducted the latest exchange of prisoners on Dec. 14. Some 64 Ukrainian servicemen, including a US citizen, returned home.
Andriy Yusov, representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, on Dec. 29 announced there would be news about a new round of a prisoner swap.
Mirjana Spolarich-Egger, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, earlier said that she sees an opportunity for a large-scale exchange of prisoners.