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"All-for-all" exchange will not apply to civilian Ukrainians

May 5, 2023

An "all-for-all" exchange with the Russian Federation can only concern the military. Civilian hostages cannot be returned to their homeland in this way, except for combatants.


This was stated by Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, at a press conference in Kyiv (scroll to the bottom of the page to watch the video).

"I will not make any promises. The only thing I can confirm is that the Ukrainian side has repeatedly offered to exchange "all for all". As I said, the exchange concerns only prisoners of war. Civilian hostages cannot be exchanged in the "all for all" format. Therefore, this list does not include civilians. This is an exception so that we understand again that there is a category of civilians who are treated as combatants by the Russian side and Ukraine. For example, these are fighters of the TRO or DFTG who took up arms but did not make any legal documents," Lubinets said.

He told about cynical cases of detention of Ukrainians by Russians. For example, students of the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University were detained based on their student IDs.

"They say they studied at the law school, so they are combatants. For example, they detained SBU retirees who had been retired for decades. They are treated as prisoners of war. There are retired judges, law enforcement officers, and former military officers," he said, adding that even medical workers were detained because they could assist the military.

The Ombudsman emphasized that there are many such cases of civilians being treated as combatants.

Lubinets also recalled that he handed over the first list of civilian hostages to Russian Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova in Ankara on January 13, 2023. It contained the names of two thousand people.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 05/05/2023

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