Kyiv: more than 70 Ukrainians held captive in Russia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine claims that Russia holds more than 70 Ukrainians captive. As stated in the ministry's response to the query of Radio Liberty, the list does not include the 24 Ukrainian servicemen captured by Russia near the coast of the Crimea.

 “As of February 9, 2017, more than 70 Ukrainian citizens are illegally held by the Russian Federation on fabricated charges. At least 30 people are held in Russia (excluding the 24 servicemen of the Ukrainian Navy captured near the Kerch Strait), and more than 40 people are held in the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol,” stated the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

Iryna Heraschenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, said that Ukraine is ready to hand over to Russia more than 60 citizens who have committed crimes against the Ukrainian statehood in exchange for Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia and the annexed Crimea.

According to human rights activists, more than 60 citizens of Ukraine are held captive in Russia and the annexed Crimea due to political reasons. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has already sent about 300 requets to Russia demanding the release of Ukrainians.

  Ukraine, Russia