More than 7,000 Ukrainian service members are currently considered missing, the parliamentary commissioner for missing persons, Oleh Kotenko, told Ukrainian news outlet UA:PBC on July 11
"If we are talking about the military, let's establish who the military are," Kotenko said.
“There’s the army, there’s the National Guard, there are border guards, there’s the SBU — these are different institutions.
“The (latter) are not included in the figure given by the army. The Ukrainian army provides data on 2,000 missing servicemen. Our call center reports approximately 7,200 people. For example, the Azov Regiment is part of the National Guard, and there are also missing persons there. They did not contact their relatives when they left Azovstal.”
Kotenko said that most of the missing soldiers were probably actually alive in captivity. In particular, this applies to soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the 36th Brigade.
"We know that they were taken to Russia,” said Kotenko.
“First, you need to understand how many people there are,” he said. “If there are more than a hundred of them, then we understand that practically the entire battalion is in captivity. There is still no contact with them, so they are considered missing. Sooner or later, they will end up on the exchange list and come home. This is the case when we know for surethat the missing persons are alive.”