Since February 24, 2022, the Russian military has abducted 132 representatives of Ukrainian local self-government and government agencies. 14 people are still in captivity, and four were killed
This was reported by the ZMINA Human Rights Centre during a press conference in Kyiv.
"The fate of those who are still in captivity is often unknown - the Russian Federation does not usually confirm their whereabouts, and they often do not have any official status. We don't know anything for sure about their health status, conditions of detention, cases of violence, etc.," said Borys Petrunok, a researcher and documentary filmmaker at the ZMINA Human Rights Centre.
50 per cent of the detainees are heads of regional territorial communities or city mayors, and about 22 per cent are local deputies.
Most of the officials, namely 98, were released from captivity by the Russians. The fate of 16 other abductees is currently unknown.
Human rights activists recorded cases of kidnapping in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Donetsk, Luhansk and Sumy regions.
Ukraine has already involved the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Committee of the Regions of the European Parliament, the Red Cross and UN agencies in the release of the officials from captivity.
It will be recalled that, according to the Office of the Ombudsperson, 25,000 Ukrainians are currently considered to be missing "under special circumstances", i.e. civilian hostages and are being held in Russian captivity.