Ukrainian parliamentary commissioner for human rights Dmytro Lubinets has called on the Archbishop of Bologna, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, to facilitate the return of civilian hostages, including priests, held by the Russian Federation.
This was discussed at a meeting held in Kyiv on Monday, 5 June, Ukrinform reports.
"The Russian Federation detains civilians en masse. The approximate figure we are now disclosing is 27,000 Ukrainian citizens. But it is impossible to establish for sure. This includes priests from different denominations. Separately, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that two priests of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were detained in the temporarily occupied territory and are being held captive by the Russian Federation. We also ask you to do everything possible to rescue them," Lubinets said.
According to him, the priests are in a colony.
"The Russian Federation continues to infringe on the rights of believers in temporarily occupied territories. It has directly destroyed 305 religious facilities," the ombudsman added.
Earlier, Lubinets said that, according to the Unified Register of Missing Persons, there were about 24,000 civilian hostages from Ukraine in Russia.