Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said that, according to rough estimates, Russia is holding more than 20,000 civilian hostages, Media Centre Ukraine - Ukrinform reports.
According to the ombudsman, after the liberation of the occupied territories, it may turn out that the number of Kremlin hostages may be much higher.
"According to our rough estimates, the Russian Federation holds more than 20,000 civilian hostages. I give these figures on the basis of personal appeals to me from relatives whose relatives and friends have been detained by the Russian military," Lubinets said.
The ombudsman noted that people who are currently in the temporarily occupied territories do not turn to him, or "turn in small numbers, because even the appeal to the Ukrainian ombudsman is considered by the Russian Federation as espionage".
Earlier, Lubinets said that the Ukrainian authorities had indicative data on how many Ukrainians were still being held captive in Russia. But this number cannot be disclosed.
Starting from 2 May, data on the missing will be entered into the Unified Register of Missing Persons. It was developed by the Interior Ministry in cooperation with the Commissioner for Missing Persons and other agencies.