Ukrainian ombudsman shows Russian POW detention conditions
Conditions of detention of Russian prisoners of war (Photo:Dmytro Lubinets / Facebook)
Following a UN Monitoring Mission in Ukraine report alleging harsh treatment of Russian POWs by Kyiv authorities, Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets has instructed his office to inspect the conditions at Ukraine’s POW detention centers, Lubinets said in a Telegram post on March 28.
According to Lubinets, the Office of the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights has established that Russian POWs are being held in accordance with the requirements of the Geneva Convention, with daily schedules and indoor temperature in the buildings meeting all requirements.
In addition, POWs can take turns calling their relatives, do vocational labor, and are fed according to the general military food distribution practices.
The medical unit at the highlighted detention center has a dental room, as well as X-ray and ultrasound machines. The POWs can watch TV news or play soccer on the premises. Accredited foreign journalists have free access to the site.
“Unfortunately, the UN report published information about the negative aspects of keeping Russian soldiers in captivity, but the positive facts, at least about phone calls with relatives, are not outlined at all,” Lubinets said.
“After all, Ukrainian prisoners of war are not provided with even such a right and don’t have the opportunity to communicate with their relatives, for a long time.”
The ombudsman emphasized that Ukraine complies with the Geneva Conventions, international law, and is open to international organizations. He also called on international organizations to help Ukrainian authorities gain access to places of detention of Ukrainian POW in Russia-controlled territories.
On March 24, the UN monitoring mission presented a report on the treatment of POWs and a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine. In addition to widespread Russian war crimes, including murder, torture and sexual violence against civilians, the mission reported cases of executions of prisoners of war – allegedly by both Ukrainian and Russian troops.
Lubinets emphasized that he had met with the head of the mission on several occasions, but the UN representatives had never raised the issue of the treatment of Russian POWs with him.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said it had taken note of the mission’s report but considered it unacceptable to place responsibility on the victim of aggression.
“The Ukrainian side expects that the UN mission will avoid any steps that could be interpreted as equating the victim and the aggressor,” the ministry said in a statement.
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