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Ukrainian journalist Victoria Roshchyna, missing since 2023, found in Russian captivity

The conditions of detention for Ukrainian women like Roshchyna are reportedly inhumane, with released captives describing severe maltreatment.
Victoria Roshchyna, a Ukrainian freelance journalist and 2022 Courage in Journalism Award winner
Victoria Roshchyna, a Ukrainian freelance journalist and 2022 Courage in Journalism Award winner. Source: The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine
Ukrainian journalist Victoria Roshchyna, missing since 2023, found in Russian captivity

Moscow has confirmed that Ukrainian journalist Victoria Roshchyna was detained and is currently held on Russian territory, said the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, citing a letter received by her father, Volodymyr Roshchyn. 

The journalist is one of 403 Ukrainian women held in Russian captivity. The conditions of detention for Ukrainian women in Russian captivity do not comply with the Third Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war.

Released captives report humiliation and inhumane conditions in prisons or detention centers. They are often malnourished and unable to receive qualified medical assistance and contact with relatives.

“According to available information, Roshchyna Victoria Volodymyrivna, born on 6 October 1996, has been detained and is currently on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the letter said.

Volodymyr Roshchyn applied to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which also confirmed that Victoria is in captivity, but access to her is not available.

Earlier, the journalist’s relatives submitted an inquiry to the occupational prosecutor’s office in Mariupol, where they were informed that no case had been initiated against her. Letters sent to the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office, the Investigative Committee, and the Ombudsman remained unanswered.

The Ukrainian freelance journalist and 2022 Courage in Journalism Award winner Victoria Roshchyna went missing in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in August 2023, reported The International Women’s Media Foundation.

Roshchyna has been on the frontlines of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since the war began in February 2022, publishing work in independent media outlets, including Ukrainska Pravda, Hromadske, and Radio Free Europe.

Throughout her nearly decade-long journalism career, she has covered complex – and often dangerous – topics, including crime, courts, and human rights. Roshchyna was previously captured by Russian forces in March 2022 and was held for ten days in Berdiansk.

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