Employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were able to visit some Ukrainian servicemen who left the Azovstal plant in Mariupol and are in occupied Olenivka (Donetsk oblast).
Oleksandr Vlasenko, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Ukraine, told Babel about this.
The delegation visited the Azovs to check the conditions in which they were being held. He added that the visit was confidential, so he could not provide any details about the conditions of detention. At the same time, the Red Cross fixes them for itself. Asked by Babel, Vlasenko said that if the conditions did not meet the standards, the ICRC has the right to draw the attention of the party holding the defenders and demand better conditions.
At the same time, Vlasenko added that the delegation registered Ukrainian defenders — those who wanted it. In addition, the Red Cross collected messages from relatives for their relatives — notes in which Ukrainian defenders passed on information about themselves to relatives.
At the same time, Russian propaganda media reported that Oleksandr Kovalyov, a member of the Verkhovna Rada from the Dovira group, was visiting the Azovs together with the Red Cross. Vlasenko said that the Red Cross delegation did not include outsiders. However, this does not exclude the fact that the defenders may have been visited by other people.
The registration process was also confirmed by the ICRC headquarters. It started on May 17. The process involves filling out a form with personal data: name, date of birth and details of close relatives. "This information will allow the ICRC to identify those who were abducted and will help liaise with their families," the statement said.
The Committee stressed that, in accordance with the mandate given to it by States under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the ICRC should have immediate access to all prisoners of war in all places of detention. The Committee should be allowed to interrogate prisoners of war without witnesses, and the duration and frequency of these visits should not be unduly limited.
- On May 10, Russian troops destroyed the second underground hospital at Azovstal.
- On May 17, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine confirmed that in the evening of May 16, the process of removing Ukrainian servicemen from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol began. More than 250 fighters were the first to leave.
- The speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation called the Ukrainian military from "Azovstal" "war criminals" and said that they should not be exchanged.