Gerashchenko believes that the return of the defenders of Azovstal from captivity will not be soon

Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko explained why the return of the Ukrainian military from captivity, who defended Mariupol and the Azovstal plant, is unlikely to be soon.

Gerashchenko spoke about this in an interview HBreports Ukrinform.

In response to the question, where and in what conditions are the Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal, he said: “They are in captivity. The conditions, as I understand it, cannot be satisfactory, since such a number of prisoners cannot be kept normally, because there are simply no physical conditions for this in the temporarily occupied territories.”

Gerashchenko recalled that, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, the country that provides for the maintenance of prisoners is obliged to ensure that they receive medical care, eat normally, and that they are treated well.

“The same way we treat Russian prisoners of war. By the way, the Ukrainian side regularly gave Russian prisoners of war the opportunity to call their parents. Therefore, it would be right if now, in pursuance of the Geneva Conventions, telephone communication was provided between captured Russians and their relatives in Russia, as well as between Ukrainian prisoners of war with their relatives in Ukraine. Yes, these calls would be controlled, they would be recorded, but then the relatives could clearly know that everything is in order with their loved ones, ”said the adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Read also: Ukraine working on return of Mariupol defenders – Zelensky

He stated that today neither Russian nor Ukrainian prisoners of war can contact their relatives. According to Gerashchenko, this problem can be solved through negotiations.

Talking about the return of the defenders Azovstal, he stressed that Ukraine will seek the return of every citizen.

“But it is obvious that this return will not be quick, because now the number of captured Russians is less than the number of captured Ukrainians. And the Russian side is still exchanging prisoners according to the formula 1 for 1. Accordingly, it is necessary to have the same arithmetic number of prisoners of war or some other methods are needed,” Gerashchenko summed up.

Read also: Soldiers at Azovstal had nothing to fight back and they could die without a fight – Azov Regiment

Recall that the Ukrainian military held the defense of Mariupol for more than 80 days. On May 16, the evacuation of the city’s defenders from the Azovstal metallurgical plant, blocked by Russian invaders, began.

After the withdrawal of the Ukrainian military, according to the agreements, they are waiting for an exchange.

Photo: PAP/EPA

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