Executive Summary of Analytical Report “PRISONERS OF WAR: International Practice as to Release of POWs, Civilian Detainees and Political Prisoners. Conclusions for Ukraine”

According to official data, more than 3,000 people (soldiers as well as civilians) went through illegal detentions in the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic” over the course of the conflict in Ukraine. The latest prisoner exchange took place on 27 December 2017, with no other exchanges prior to that for almost one and a half years. According to Ukraine’s Security Service, 102 Ukrainian citizens remain in illegal detention in Donetsk and Lughansk regions. According to the latest information there are 64 Ukrainian citizens who are currently held by the occupied authorities of the Russian Federation in Crimean peninsula and Russian Federation in total, 26 of whom are detained in the RF and the rest in Crimea.  3221 persons have been released since the beginning of the conflict form in Ukraine and only 5 have been released from Crimea and the RF.

The report’s goal is to attract attention to the issue of negotiations for the release of those Ukrainian citizens who, according to the Ukrainian human rights community and government, have been detained by Russia for political reasons in connection with the conflict. It is also important to once again emphasize the need to define the legal status of persons held in connection with the conflict, since the Law of Ukraine “On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”, which was adopted on 18 January 2018, while this report was being prepared, failed to resolve this issue.

Full summary is awailable by this link

This publication is made possible by the generous support from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) within the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program being implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID or the United States Government.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 55 years. In Ukraine, USAID’s assistance focuses on three areas: Health and Social Transition, Economic Growth and Democracy and Governance. USAID has provided 1.8 bln. technical and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since 1992. For additional information about USAID programs in Ukraine, please visit our website: http://ukraine.usaid.govor our Facebook page at
This report is produced under support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands MATRA Programme. The views expressed in the report are those of the Media Initiative for Human Rights only and can differ from the views of the Ministry.

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