Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and
the beginning of military operations in the Luhansk and Donetsk
regions in eastern Ukraine, hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen and
civilians have reportedly been captured or abducted. Some of them
have since been released, but many of those who are still being
held captive are allegedly being held in inhumane conditions and
are allegedly subject to torture, humiliation, forced labour and
other forms of violence.
This report assesses the implementation of one of the cornerstones
of the Minsk Agreement on the exchange of prisoners and release
of hostages and persons illegally detained in the context of the
war in Ukraine. It contains recommendations addressed to all sides
of the conflict to speed up this process in compliance with their
international commitments. It also calls on the Russian Federation
to release all Ukrainian prisoners who have been captured and imprisoned
in the Russian Federation and in annexed Crimea on politically motivated charges.
The report pays special attention to the needs of released
persons and their families. It encourages the Ukrainian authorities
to settle the issue of medical, legal, financial and social assistance
to released persons. For those people who are still in captivity,
the State should provide financial support to their families.