The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest over the illegitimate decision taken by the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow to prolong the pre-trial detention of 24 Ukrainian servicemen who were seized as prisoners of war by the Russian Federation in the Black Sea on November 25, 2018.
The trial of these Ukrainian servicemen runs counter to international humanitarian law. The closed-door court hearing today is clear evidence that the Kremlin is fully complicit in this sham trial.
According to the 1949 Third Geneva Convention, Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, there can be no dispute that these captured Ukrainian sailors have the legal status of Prisoners of War. We therefore strongly demand that the Russian Federation treats them in full accordance with their status and with full respect to their rights under international humanitarian law.
In addition, we urge the Russian side to promptly provide medical findings on the health of these wounded prisoners of war and to provide treatment.
Ukraine is grateful to our international partners whose representatives came to the court premises to support the Ukrainian servicemen. We greatly appreciate this manifestation of solidarity with Ukraine and its captured servicemen.
We call on the international community to condemn Russia’s actions and to consolidate pressure on Moscow that will lead to the release of all 24 prisoners of war, currently incarcerated in Russia.