An organizational meeting of the working group on the missing in Donbas and military and civilian hostages (prisoners) took place, the President’s Office reports.

The meeting was attended by the Verkhovna Rada Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova, Chairman of the Advisory Council of War Veterans, Families of Deceased (Died) Defenders of Ukraine Serhiy Kunitsyn, Adviser to the Head of the Presidential Office Mykhailo Podoliak, relatives of the prisoners and the missing, the rescued from captivity Crimean Tatar People representatives and public organizations delegates.

The participants of the meeting discussed, in particular, the setting up of a permanent Commission under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the search for missing persons. According to the coordinator of the working group Mykola Kolesnyk, the Commission establishment will allow the formation of a register of missing persons by the categories and resolve the issue of search groups. Relatives of the missing are to be present at this Commission meeting.

The Verkhovna Rada Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova noted that a government resolution on the Commission establishment and composition was agreed at the meeting of the government committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov. Lyudmila Denisova noted that the corresponding decision may be made soon. She emphasized the importance of the Commission Secretariat functioning.

The meeting participants also discussed the draft law “on social and legal protection of persons deprived of their liberty by armed aggression against Ukraine.” This document will regulate, in particular, the issue of payments to people released from captivity.

Mykhailo Podoliak noted that the bill’s proposals should be worked out with the participation of relevant ministries and committees of the Verkhovna Rada representatives.

Mykola Kolesnyk highlighted the necessity of improving the communication between local authorities and families of missing persons and prisoners.

Serhiy Kunitsyn informed the meeting participants about the President’s Decree on the Advisory Council of War Veterans and Families of Deceased (Died) Defenders of Ukraine establishment.

“We are ready to cooperate with you, with the government, with the Ombudsman. We are ready to support you in all areas,” Serhiy Kunitsynn stated as he addressed the relatives of the prisoners and missing people.

Promote Ukraine has recently written that according to the exclusive information from Ukrainian volunteers, there is no staff now to monitor problems with prisoners of the Crimea and Donbas, find new prisoners, help hostage families,  or bring changes to regulations in the Ministry of the temporarily occupied territories reintegration. In addition, the Interdepartmental Commission will not work. So, people who were released from captivity earlier will be abandoned to their fate.

Meanwhile, in Kyiv, the mothers of captured and missing Ukrainians in the occupied territories of Donbas, in the annexed Crimea and Russia, lay on the pavement next to Presidential Administration in protest against the government’s inaction.

Natalia Tolub

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