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Nearly 37,000 people remain missing in Ukraine amid Russian invasion

Russia has been abducting civilians since 2014, escalating after the 2022 invasion. Ukraine verified only 147 ppl, 1,700 illegally detained civilians have been able to return home.
Ukrainian children
Ukraine returned 11 children from Russia and Russia-occupated territories of Ukraine. Credit: Dmytro Lubinets/TG
Nearly 37,000 people remain missing in Ukraine amid Russian invasion

The Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, Dmytro Lubinets, said on 16 April that in Ukraine, nearly 37,000 people are missing, among whom are children, civilians, and military personnel.

According to the Ombudsman, Russia has been abducting civilians since 2014, but the situation has significantly escalated since the full-scale invasion began in 2022.

Currently, nearly 37,000 people are considered missing – including children, civilians, and military personnel. However, Lubinets said the actual number may be higher.

The Ombudsman also said that Ukraine had verified about 1,700 people whom Russia has illegally detained. Only 147 civilian hostages have been able to return home.

“We are doing everything possible to move forward the issue of the return of civilians. In particular, this is the focus of the Ombudsman’s Office and one of the tasks of point 4 of the Peace Formula.”

“In addition, at the initiative of our institution, Ukraine has established an International Platform for the release of civilians illegally detained by Russia,” said Dmytro Lubinets.

He added that Ukraine is working with Türkiye to open a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of the civilian population. Ombudsmen said that Ukraine and Türkiye also discussed the possibility of opening a criminal prosecution of Russia’s top leadership for the abduction of civilians.

Among the civilians held by Russia are sick and vulnerable groups of the population and three staff members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The National Police reported on 28 March that over 50,000 people are missing in Ukraine.

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