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Ukraine: Statement by the Spokesperson on the abductions of Ukrainian officials and citizens by Russian occupation troops

20.03.2022
Brussels

The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the behaviour of the Russian occupation troops and their proxies who are detaining, abducting or kidnapping Ukrainian journalists, civil society activists, local officials and other civilians in Ukrainian territories temporarily under the illegal and illegitimate control by the Russian Armed Forces.

These worrying developments often concern volunteers trying to help their communities with food, medicines and water, as well as journalists exposing the truth on the developments on the ground. The most prominent cases include Oleg Baturin – editor of the media outlet “Novy Den” or “Hromadske” journalist Victoria Roshchyna, as well as activist Olha Haisumova and Serhiy Tsyhipa, who went missing over the past days and weeks.

The Russian occupiers continue with their deplorable tactic of abducting representatives of the municipal and regional administrations, including mayor of Dniprorudny Yevgen Matveyev, chair of the Melitopol District Council Sergiy Pryima, Mayor of Ivankiv Tetiana Svyrydenko, Deputy Head of the Military-Civilian Administration of Shchastia Volodymyr Tiurin, Secretary of the Skadovsk City Council Yuriy Paliukh, and emergency response staff member Oleksiy Danchenko.

The list of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens is much longer and growing every day.

The EU notes the release of the previously kidnapped mayor of Melitipol Ivan Fedorov, and mayor of Velykoburlutska Viktor Tereshchenko, and demand the immediate release of all Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by the Russian occupation forces.

In line with the ruling of the International Court of Justice of 16 March, Russia has to cease its military action and withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine immediately and unconditionally.

The EU reiterates its call on Russia to establish unhindered humanitarian access to Ukraine immediately.

Peter Stano
Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)460 75 45 53
Paloma Hall Caballero
Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)2 296 85 60
+32 (0)460 76 85 60