Russian prisoners of war will work to ‘restore’ Ukraine’s economy: Ukrainian officials


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Russian prisoners of war will eventually be used to “restore Ukraine’s economy” in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said Tuesday. 

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Yevhen Yenin made the announcement during a Ukrainian telethon broadcast. Yenin said Ukraine would comply with all norms of international humanitarian law.

“And this is what distinguishes us from the Russian aggressor, who shoots at civilians, strikes rockets bombs at homes,” Yenin said in a translated post on the ministry’s Facebook page. “And I’m not talking about the treatment of our servicemen.”

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11 russian soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces make a press statement on March 5, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
(Andriy Dubchak/dia images via Getty Images)

“We will use all the opportunities that the Geneva Conventions give us in this regard. That is, the use of labor, etc,” Yenin added. “All these people will later work to restore Ukraine’s economy.”

In the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, a detaining power may utilize the labor of prisoners of war “who are physically fit, taking into account their age, sex, rank, physical aptitude, with a view particularly to maintaining them in a good state of physical mental health.”

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin is pictured during the briefing on the landing of the third evacuation flight from Kabul (Afghanistan) at Boryspil International Airport, Kyiv Region, central Ukraine.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin is pictured during the briefing on the landing of the third evacuation flight from Kabul (Afghanistan) at Boryspil International Airport, Kyiv Region, central Ukraine.
((Hennadii Minchenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images))

Prisoners of war must also be granted suitable working conditions, “especially as regards accommodation, food, clothing, equipment.” Those conditions should not be inferior to those enjoyed by nations of the detaining power “in similar work.”

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The labor should also not be unhealthy or dangerous, the daily duration cannot exceed that “permitted for civilian workers in the district.”

Two Russian soldiers taken prisoner near Kyiv, by Ukraine following Russia's military operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Two Russian soldiers taken prisoner near Kyiv, by Ukraine following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
(Embassy of Ukraine in Ankara/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Thousands of people have died during the Russian invasion, more than 2 million people have already fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations.



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