Russian-Ukrainian international armed conflict: the ICRC calls for immediate and unimpeded access to all prisoners of war

The Third Geneva Convention obliges parties to an international armed conflict to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) immediate access to all prisoners of war and the right to visit them wherever they are detained.

We would like to emphasize that our teams are ready on the ground – and have been ready for months – to visit the Olenivka penal institution and any other place where prisoners of war are held. However, beyond granting access by high levels of authority, this requires practical arrangements to materialize on the ground. We cannot access by force a place of detention or internment where we have not been admitted.

All States have undertaken to respect the Geneva Conventions. Authorizing the ICRC to visit prisoners of war is a legal obligation. It also helps preserve humanity in an international armed conflict that has created immeasurable losses for countless families.

Our mission can only be accomplished through coordinated efforts with the parties to the armed conflict. And we ask them and the international community to support the role entrusted to us.

For more information please contact:

crystal wellICRC Geneva, +41 79 642 8056
[email protected]

Jennifer SparksICRC Geneva (English), +41792173200
[email protected]

Achille DespresICRC Kyiv (English, French, Italian)
+380 50 324 31 80, [email protected],

Galina BalzamovaICRC Moscow (English, Russian), +7 903 545 35 34
[email protected],

Matthew MorrisICRC London (English), +44 7753 809 471
[email protected]

Frederic JoliICRC Paris (French), +33 6 20 49 46 30
[email protected]

Eliza Shaw ICRCWashington DC (English), +1 202-361-1566
[email protected]