The meeting of the working group on the issues of the missing persons in Donbas and military and civilian hostages (captives) took place in the Office of the President of Ukraine.
The participants in the meeting heard the information of the ICRC representatives on the register of persons who went missing during hostilities in the east of Ukraine.
Deputy protection coordinator of the ICRC in Ukraine Priscilla Absi emphasized that the organization would provide any assistance in the issue of search for missing persons. According to her, about 750 persons whose relatives went missing appealed to the ICRC.
Coordinator of the working group Mykola Kolesnyk stressed that the Red Cross was the only international institution that could carry out full work on the search for missing persons and civilian hostages.
“I would like the international institutions not to be limited to psychological assistance, trainings. Today, you are the only institution that can influence the situation there, search for missing persons and take care of those imprisoned - civilian hostages and captives. We really count on you,” Mykola Kolesnyk said.
The coordinator of the working group also stressed the importance of clarifying the situation as regards the return of the body of Roman Bezpaly, a soldier who died in captivity. He called it inadmissible when the law enforcement officers declared missing soldier Ruslan Sugak wanted on suspicion of murder.
Adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs Yevhen Tieriekhov reported that the Head of the National Police had commissioned an inquiry into the incident concerning Ruslan Sugak. In addition, information will be investigated as regards the circumstances of the return of Roman Bezpaly's body. All cases will be brought under the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
In addition, the participants in the working group urged the Verkhovna Rada to set up a Temporary Investigation Commission to investigate into the events during the Ilovaisk and Debaltseve operations.
Coordinator of the working group Mykola Kolesnyk thanked the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross for taking care of the families of persons who went missing during the hostilities in Donbas.
The representatives of the working group also listened to the critical remarks and assured that all proposals would be taken into account.
"We are hopeful that your work will be more active, that all permits will be given to you, and you will be here with good news," Mykola Kolesnyk said.
According to him, in view of the communiqueon the results of the Normandy summit and the statements by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as well as the activities of the Red Cross, the work to release our citizens and search for the missing persons will be continued until the last Ukrainian returns home.
The representatives of the working group also urged President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to congratulate every civilian hostage, captive and political prisoner in the Russian Federation, Crimea and ORDLO on New Year's holidays so that they can feel that they are remembered at the highest level in the country.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the ICRC, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs, representatives of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.