The COVID-19 pandemic is creating additional obstacles for the release of Russian prisoners held at detention facilities in Ukraine, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said in an interview with TASS.
The commissioner noted that she is working on 10 requests from Russian citizens held at Ukrainian detention facilities or from their relatives. "Of course, I will do everything in my power so that they can return home and reunite with their families. The coronavirus pandemic has created additional obstacles on the path towards their release, however, we do not leave our people behind. The work is ongoing," Moskalkova said.
According to the rights commissioner, it is necessary to compile a list of Russian nationals imprisoned abroad and in need of help. "We must compile a full list of Russian nationals that are imprisoned abroad and who need help. This registry could be compiled either in our agency or by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Funding of aid to our compatriots behind bars must be voluntary, and there is the Foundation for Supporting and Protecting the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad, established with this goal in mind," she said.
Moskalkova added that about 30 Russian nationals abroad are prisoners of conscience: they were incarcerated over their opinion on the status of Crimea or over sanctions.