Prokopchuk: The Kremlin is Using Ukrainian Prisoners as Political Pawns

Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, Ihor Prokopchuk, spoke at a meeting with the OSCE Permanent Council

uatv
07.03.2019

Photo from Ukrinform – UATV

The Russian regime – with the capture of Ukrainian servicemen in the Kerch Strait – openly demonstrates the expansion of the list of Ukrainian hostages for their further use for political purposes.

Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, Ihor Prokopchuk, said this at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, according to a Ukrinform correspondent.

“Tuesday, this week, marked a hundred days since Russia seized 24 Ukrainian servicemen during an unprovoked armed attack near the Kerch Strait. They remain in captivity of the Russian Federation, which neglects their status of prisoners of war and violates the norms of international humanitarian law, sending the captured servicemen to civilian courts. The Russian regime makes it clear that it is openly expanding the list of hostages that will be used by the Kremlin for its political purposes,” Prokopchuk said.

He reiterated Ukraine’s call for the liberation of captured servicemen, as well as dozens of other Ukrainian citizens illegally held by the Russian authorities in occupied Crimea and in Russia.

“We reaffirm the readiness of the Ukrainian side to release Russian citizens convicted in Ukraine of crimes against Ukraine in exchange for the release by Russia of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens,” he added.

On November 25, 2018, Russian border ships in the Kerch Strait fired on and captured three Ukrainian naval vessels attempting to sail from Odesa to Mariupol, as well as the 24 sailors on board.

They are currently being held in detention centers in Moscow. They all call themselves prisoners of war.

Source Ukrinform
date 07.03.2019
categories Prisoners of Kremlin
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