More than 15,000 people have gone missing during the full-scale war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. Matthew Holliday, programme director for Europe at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), made a corresponding statement on Thursday, Reuters reports.

According to him, the 15,000 figure is conservative when considering that in Mariupol alone authorities estimate as many as 25,000 people are either dead or missing.

Holliday considers that the process of investigating the missing in Ukraine will last years even after fighting stops.

He notes that it is unclear how many people have been forcibly transferred, are held in detention in Russia, are alive and separated from their family members, or died and were been buried in makeshift graves.

“What is key now is setting in place all the correct measures to ensure that as many persons can be identified. The vast majority of missing persons, those deceased, are victims of war crimes, and the perpetrators need to be held responsible,” the ICMP’s programme director for Europe stressed.

As a reminder, at the beginning of October, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Russia had deported more than 1,600,000 Ukrainian citizens from the occupied Ukrainian territories. These people were forcibly transported to remote regions of the Russian Federation.

Bohdan Marusyak

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