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Andriy Yermak discusses with new ICRC president ways to move forward on getting access to Ukrainian prisoners in Yelenovka


Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak had a video call with the new president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoljaric Egger.

Yermak congratulated her on the recent assumption of office and expressed hope that under her leadership the ICRC will successfully overcome complex humanitarian problems, in particular those caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The head of the Office of the President said that today, the situation with violation of human rights in the occupied territories of Ukraine is one that Europe and the world have not seen for decades. This also applies to the treatment of captured Ukrainian troops and civilians in places of detention.

Yermak urged Egger to do everything possible to send the ICRC mission to the penal colony in Olenivka in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk region, where at the end of July, more than 50 defenders of Ukraine were killed in a terrorist shelling by the Russian invaders. According to him, our state is ready to contribute to this mission in every possible way.

“Today is a critical moment. This war is a test for everyone: for Ukraine, for international organizations,” he said.

The head of the President’s Office is convinced that ICRC representatives should arrive at the contact line in the east of Ukraine on October 17. This would be a very important step.

Egger stressed the importance of ICRC staff having access to prisoners of war, particularly in Olenivka.

“This is my priority. And we will continue to facilitate access,” the ICRC president said.