ICRC, Kyiv, 16. 04. 2020: As of the early hours of this morning, ICRC teams have prepared to fulfill their role as neutral intermediary, as detainees are being released by opposing sides in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and transferred to temporary accommodations before they can join their families safely.

The release carries humanitarian values as it brings people back to their families on both sides of the contact line. It comes at a time when everybody is looking for comfort and someone to turn to.

Due to COVID19 pandemic, additional and necessary precautions are taken by those releasing the detainees, the released detainees themselves, those welcoming them and the ICRC to ensure that all stay safe and limit their exposure and that of their loved ones to COVID19.

The humanitarian value of the release of people detained in time of conflict cannot be underestimated.  Six years of the conflict and separation have been difficult. Therefore, the actions that bring humanity and caring are important, because even conflicts must have limits.

It is also essential that, even in time of COVID19, detainees continue to be released and are able to finally see their families again. It is crucial that such operations can take place in a manner that respects the dignity and safety of those released, within minimum humanitarian standards, and in respect of their individual will.

The operation is still ongoing, and more details will follow once completed later this afternoon.

For further information, please contact:

Sanela Bajrambašić, Head of Communication, ICRC Ukraine, tel: + 095 262 80 49

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