Ukraine war: Russian official says ‘practical’ issues delay POW visit



The International Committee of the Red Cross has performed a minimum of 5 visits to Ukrainian prisoners of warfare since Russia invaded Ukraine, a Russian diplomat mentioned Thursday whereas insisting that “sensible preparations” had been holding up a visit to a jail the place dozens of POWs died.

Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s ambassador in Geneva, mentioned it was unreasonable to suppose Red Cross groups might visit the entire greater than 6,000 Ukrainian POWs. Some critics say the Geneva-based ICRC has not accomplished sufficient to attempt to receive entry to Russian detention facilities.

The humanitarian group mentioned Sunday that it has an 11-person workforce able to visit any POWs in separatist-held areas of Ukraine’s jap Donetsk area, together with these held on the Olenivka jail.

Russian and Ukrainian authorities accused the opposite of a July 29 assault that destroyed a barracks on the separatist-run jail. At least 53 Ukrainian POWs died and dozens extra had been wounded, in accordance with Russian and separatist authorities.

The worldwide Red Cross would “verify on the circumstances of internment and therapy, ship important provides, and make sure the prisoners of warfare can contact their households,” the group mentioned.

The Red Cross reiterated it has been unable to visit all of the websites it wished to in reference to the warfare in Ukraine.

“Blaming the ICRC for being denied full and rapid entry doesn’t assist prisoners of warfare or their households,” it mentioned.

Gatilov urged that safety issues had been chargeable for delaying one other potential visit to the jail in Olenivka, a settlement managed by the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.

“What the ICRC desires is safety for these visits,” he instructed reporters. “Sometimes … it isn’t straightforward to supply that kind of safety as a result of the shelling is constant, and particularly the shelling of the world of Olenivka.”

“Our counterparts within the Red Cross, they perceive. They nonetheless consider that they’ll do that,” he mentioned. “They will do that sooner or later. And the one factor we’d like is simply to debate the sensible preparations for this visit. From the viewpoint of safety, to begin with.”

Jason Straziuso, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, declined to specify what number of POWs or locations of internment that the group’s workers members had visited. He mentioned such figures had been a part of a “confidential, bilateral dialogue” with the edges within the battle.

“While now we have been given entry at a excessive stage, the sensible preparations wanted to hold out a visit couldn’t be accomplished reminiscent of to ensure our workforce’s security,” he mentioned.

Alexander Pchelyakov, a spokesman for the Russian mission in Geneva, specified after Gatilov’s briefing the 5 dates when ICRC groups already had visited Ukrainian POWs: in Crimea’s Sevastopol on April 11, May 19 and August 4; on May 19 in Olenivka and the Azov Sea coastal city of Novoazovsk; and a July 28 journey to Mulino, a rural space in Russia close to town of Nizhny Novgorod.

In feedback that diverged from the findings of UN human rights specialists and different impartial displays, Gatilov claimed that Ukrainian prisoners of warfare had been “handled fairly properly” whereas Russians held by Ukrainian authorities have been topic to torture and “psychological” and “bodily” strain that violates the Geneva Conventions.

A UN workforce of specialists final month cited testimonies of beatings, electrical shocks and compelled nudity in Russian detention services.


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