Ukraine is developing a separate platform to return civilians, including 180 prisoners of the Kremlin, from the territory of the Russian Federation.
"Currently, we are developing a separate platform and a separate channel to return our civilians, in particular, those whom the Russian Federation has been holding in prisons since 2014. They are prisoners of the Kremlin. This is not an easy path, so we cannot make any promises about when they could be released. The only thing I can say is that now the entire state of Ukraine, all representatives of agencies and structures work to make this happen," Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said during the United News telethon.
He emphasized that since February 24, 2022, the Russians have additionally detained more than 22,000 civilians. At the same time, according to him, special attention is paid to the prisoners of the Kremlin and representatives of the Crimean Tatar people in the algorithm for returning Ukrainians home. According to the data given by Lubinets, 180 people, including 116 representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, are currently held behind the bars in Russia.
The Ombudsman also noted that it is incorrect to use the term "exchange" in relation to civilians as it is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention: it is specifically about return.
As reported, Lubinets told a press conference in Kyiv that it would become clear after the liberation of the occupied territories that Russia is holding much more than 20,000 Ukrainian civilians hostage.