According to the exclusive information of Ukrainian volunteers, today the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories no longer has anyone to monitor the problems with prisoners in Crimea and Donbas, identify new prisoners, help hostage families, and amend regulations. In addition, the Interdepartmental Commission will not work, and political prisoners who had been freed previously were left without support. 

Dmytro Vitov, Head of the Foundation ICF “Nadiyny Tyl,” said: “I no longer know who to turn to and what door to knock on. As of today, there is not a single person left in the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories who deal with prisoners of war, political prisoners, civilian hostages of the occupiers, and released from captivity. All employees either resigned, or were fired, or moved to other departments.”

At present, estimates of how many Ukrainian citizens remain imprisoned in Russia or annexed Crimea for political reasons, or are held captive in areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts not controlled by Kyiv, differ. However, in Russia alone there are more than 100 people.

Promote Ukraine has already written about the problems of prisoners and missing persons in the occupied territories. Thus, on June 15, in Kyiv, under the Presidential Administration, in protest against the government’s inaction, the mothers of captured and missing Ukrainians lay on the asphalt in the occupied territories of Donbas, in the annexed Crimea and Russia. The action “Freedom to Ukrainian Prisoners” took place here, which aimed to draw attention to the problem of return and search for prisoners in Donbas, Crimea, and Russia. It was an attempt to draw attention to the fact that the Law on the Status of Missing Persons has not been working for two years, no searches have been conducted and the work of the working group at the President’s Office has been suspended. The social protection of prisoners and their families in Ukraine raises no fewer questions.

Natalia Tolub

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