Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova said that the number of Ukrainians held captive in the illegally occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas is constantly growing and currently stands at 376 people. This was discussed in her video message to the participants of the 46th UN Human Rights Session, which she posted on her Telegram channel.
"In the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas, illegal arrests and detentions continue. 109 Ukrainian citizens are illegally detained in the Russian Federation and in the temporarily occupied territory of the peninsula, most of whom are Crimean Tatars. 267 of our compatriots are illegally kept in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas," Denisova noted.
She recalled that in 2014 Russia launched an armed aggression against Ukraine and occupied part of its territories. Despite the ceasefire announced on July 27, 2020, the death toll of military personnel and civilians is constantly growing.
According to the Ombudsman, the coronavirus pandemic has further jeopardized the observance of the rights of Ukrainians in both the occupied and controlled territories.
Denisova stressed that she is unable to monitor the observance of the rights and freedoms of citizens in the temporarily occupied territories.
She added that the Russian Federation ignores the resolution of the UN General Assembly of December 16, 2020, which blocks access to these territories for her and for independent international monitoring missions.
She asked the international community to continue to put pressure on the Russian Federation to restore peace and release all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.
In December 2020, the UN General Assembly at its 75th session voted in favor of a resolution on the problem of the militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as the waters of the Black and Azov Seas. The document adopted by the UN General Assembly requires the Russian Federation to withdraw its armed forces from Crimea and immediately end the temporary occupation of Ukrainian territory, stop conscription of Crimean residents into the Russian armed forces, as well as the "militarization" of education.