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Red Cross registers defenders of Mariupol leaving Azovstal

Help from the Red Cross for the Ukrainian military from Azovstal. Photo: Reuters

Help from the Red Cross for the Ukrainian military from Azovstal. Photo: Reuters

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports that during this week, the organization's team registered "hundreds of Ukrainian prisoners of war from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol." The process was launched at the request of both parties, the ICRC’s statement reads.

The registration process involves the individual filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth and closest relative. This data should be useful in tracking the future of people taken out of Azovstal, as well as help keep these people in touch with their families.

In accordance with the mandate given to the ICRC under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the organization must have access to every prisoner of war in all places where they are held. Also, the Committee must be allowed to interview prisoners of war without witnesses.

Context. In the early hours of Tuesday, May 17, the evacuation of the defenders of Azovstal began. The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that a swap procedure would be carried out for the prompt return of the evacuated defenders of Mariupol. The Russian side calls the Ukrainian military prisoners, and what happened is called surrender.

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