UN chief urges Russia to grant access to prisoners of war in Ukraine

International Committee of Red Cross has sought access to prisoners of war since beginning of war in Ukraine.

UN chief urges Russia to grant access to prisoners of war in Ukraine

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Russia to grant full access to prisoners of war, an appeal the International Committee of the Red Cross has made since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

"The Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to the Russian Federation that the International Committee of the Red Cross be granted full access to all Prisoners of War, in accordance with international humanitarian law, including the Third Geneva Convention," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric in a statement.

Ukrainian officials have urged the Swiss-based organization ICRC to visit the Olenivka prison in Donetsk which has been under the control of Russian-backed authorities since 2014, with Ukrainian president's chief of staff Andriy Yermak saying that "We just can't waste more time. Human lives are at stake."

The ICRC said in a statement today that its teams are ready for months to visit the prison but have not been granted access, in response to the criticism by Ukrainian officials that the agency did not take action to uphold the rights of Ukrainian prisoners.

Russia and Ukraine exchanged 200 prisoners of war last month as a result of Türkiye's mediation.

Hüseyin Demir

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