Red Cross wants Mariupol fighters to contact relatives

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wants to ensure that the Ukrainian fighters who are now Moscow’s prisoners of war can get in touch with their relatives.

The organisation has registered the personal data of several hundred fighters who left the besieged plant in the port city of Mariupol, but said it was not involved in the transport of the soldiers.

According to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, warring parties must grant the ICRC immediate access to all prisoners of war, but the organisation did not confirm whether this was possible in the case of the Azovstal fighters.

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“The ICRC maintains a confidential dialogue with the parties to the conflict on their obligations under international humanitarian law,” it said in a statement.

Hundreds of soldiers were holed up for weeks inside the steel plant, where hundreds of civilians were also hiding following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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