Beginning of the year in the self-proclaimed republics was marked by a series of high-profile arrests of civilians. Among them there are pro-Ukrainian activists, volunteers, as well as persons whose activities are seemingly unrelated to the active social position.
What is the root of the problem (that the information about abductions and arrests does not come to Ukraine - Ed.)?
- The root of the problem is that a person's data are not fed into the lists on exchange. In the course of negotiations in Minsk we say there is the number of military men and a certain number of civilians in captivity. Today there are 55 people. Three of them are volunteers, two – journalists and fifty – ordinary civilians (and it is unknown for what they have been detained and charged with).
If a person is on the territory uncontrolled by the official Ukrainian authorities, how can he/she apply?
- If your relative is in the uncontrolled territory he/she may transfer the application through his/her friends, or there is a possibility to make a hotline call to the Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. But the easiest way is to call your friends, acquaintances, relatives, and even strangers who are ready to lend you a hand, and then they should directly write the application. It does not matter who delivers the application. The main thing is that the fact has been fixed.
If the situation has been resolved successfully and the person has been released, then there is need to study the situation well on his/her transfer to the Ukraine controlled territory, if he/she wants to.
Often it happens that identification documents were taken away during the arrest. In order to cross the demarcation line, you must carry out the following steps. First, appeal to the International Committee of the Red Cross so that they could help with the evacuation. Secondly, contact the Security Service of Ukraine. Report them that the person has been released, and he/she is ready to cross the demarcation line. Such actions will help to get through the check points. You may have to go through the identification procedure. But often, such evacuated person shall be met by police representatives. The department carries out the identification procedure and parallel investigation what had happened to the man in captivity.
How many people have perished during the last two months?
- The information for the last two months is extremely inconsistent. By my count, more than 20 people, and no one can give an exact figure. But the saddest thing is that information about these people is not known in the controlled territory. It is not known by the power structures.
Why don’t relatives apply? Most likely, this is due to the fact that they do not believe in any outcome of such actions. I have not heard that the self-proclaimed authorities wouldn’t allow family members to apply to the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine).
Can we say that the fact of submitting an application to the SBU guarantees survival for an arrested person?
- No, but such application will be one of the pressure elements in Minsk to ensure that the person would be released. No one can be a guarantor that the person will be released, no international organization and no state structure in the territory of Ukraine.
Maxim Prikhodko, "OstroV"
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