"Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Under the Geneva Convention, Russia is obliged to return all severely wounded Ukrainian POWs to Ukraine
Russia is constantly sabotaging the exchange of POWs by violating the Geneva Convention, which requires treating them humanely. This fundamental principle is simply not respected by Russia.
Today, the Russian Federation is illegally holding hostage Ukrainian civilians, including children, women and the elderly, who have been detained by Russian special services in the occupied territories, as well as seriously wounded and seriously ill Ukrainian servicemen.
All these categories of citizens should be returned to Ukraine without any conditions under international humanitarian law. Despite this, Russia not only continues to hold civilian and seriously wounded servicemen hostage, but also refuses to allow representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross access to their places of detention. Furthermore, the Russians do not provide Ukrainian POWs with proper conditions, necessary medications, and do not allow them to communicate with their relatives, which makes it difficult to obtain any information about their condition. Thus, Russia deliberately creates inhumane conditions of captivity.
For its part, Ukraine on 24 March unilaterally extradited to Russia all seriously wounded and seriously ill Russian POWs without any conditions, thus fully adhering to its international obligations in implementing articles 109-114 of the Geneva Convention.
Russia must now reciprocate by releasing all severely wounded Ukrainian POWs. Earlier, Ukraine had offered the Russian Federation to accept their mutual return to their countries, but Moscow refused. In spite of this, Kyiv has shown a gesture of goodwill and handed over severely wounded Russian soldiers to Russia.
The international community should support Ukraine and demand that Russia immediately return all Ukrainian civilians and severely wounded Ukrainian POWs to Ukraine.
Russia's launched an unprecedented information campaign against Ukraine.
The Russian Federation has been waging a hybrid war against Ukraine for years. After the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian special services started actively discrediting Kyiv with international partners and allies. But with the Russian army "bogged down" in Ukraine and no longer capable of offensive action, Moscow is throwing its weight behind a new and unprecedented information campaign to dissuade the West from military assistance.
Moscow is spreading disinformation about the Ukrainian army's problems, conflicts within the top military and political leadership, dwindling resources and the inability to carry out further offensives in order to thus sow doubt in the West about the likelihood of Kyiv's victory over Moscow. Vladimir Putin is trying to weaken the support of the Western world for Ukraine and to break off Kyiv's relations with its allies, the US and European Union countries. To do this, Russian agents of influence are being stepped up across Europe, and the Kremlin's corrupt business lobby is being brought in. Also, in order to distract Ukraine's partners and provoke panic, Russia is supporting unrest in European countries, such as the pension protests in France.
In response to such special operations, Western countries should step up aid to Ukraine, as this is a signal that Russia has run out of steam, which means that we are coming to the end game. Only a powerful coalition of the entire civilised world will be able to subdue Moscow and stop its aggression against the Ukrainian people, who are now defending not only Ukraine but also the whole of Europe against an aggressor who would be only too happy to invade the European Union.