Ukrainian Prisoners of War as a Tool of Hybrid Warfare

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Millbank Tower

21-24 Millbank

21-24 Millbank

London

SW1P 4QP

United Kingdom

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A unique opportunity to meet former POWs and hear a firsthand account of their time in captivity in the hands of Russian paramilitary groups

About this Event

There are still more than 200 Ukrainian POWs currently detained in Russia. There are more than 3 000 former prisoners of war in Ukraine in need of medical and legal assistance. The speakers aim to raise the awareness about the devastating consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war for the ordinary Ukrainian citizens. They will discuss the stigma experienced by Ukrainian prisoners of war, address the issue of former POWs' rights and formal status and examine the avenues for building a support network for POWs among the general public, on the state level and internationally.

Two of the panellists will discuss their experience of being arrested and held prisoner by Russian paramilitary groups in eastern Ukraine. While in captivity, they were subjected to torture and humiliation. Today, they continue to help veterans, former prisoners, internally displaced people and current hostages. They also testify in international courts on the question of war crimes committed by the aggressor in eastern Ukraine.

Chair Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP

Speakers

Iryna Dovgan is a well-known volunteer in Ukraine. At the start of the war in eastern Ukraine, she helped the Ukrainian army by delivering food, clothes and medical supplies to them. This served as the reason for her abduction in the summer of 2014. She underwent torture and humiliation. She was taken to a busy road in the city of Donetsk, forced to stand next to a pillar holding a sign which read ‘she is killing our children’ while she was humiliated by passers-by. A photo of this ordeal was taken by the Brazilian photographer Mauricio Lima; it appeared in The New York Times the next morning and saved Iryna Dovgan’s life. Following her release, Iryna Dovgan continues to help Ukrainian soldiers and former prisoners. Her testimony about her imprisonment has been included in reports for the European Parliament, the United Nations, the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court.

Hanna Iliushchenkova has a diploma in nursing. In 2014, she volunteered to serve in the war in eastern Ukraine. She was injured and captured by the Russian army. Following her release, Hanna Ilyushchenkova had to undergo lengthy treatment. As a result of the war, she lost her home and her job. She has devoted herself to helping the victims of war in Ukraine.

Olha Volynska is a journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker. She filmed the Unbroken Women documentary featuring women POWs, including Iryna Dovgan & Hanna Iliushchenkova. She has been working as a TV journalist for more than 10 years, highlighting corruption, human rights violations, ecological and social issues. Since 2017, Olha Volynska has also worked for the ‘Sich’ Human Rights Protection Group and the ‘Forpost’ NGOs, which support people who have suffered from the armed conflict in the Donbas and give them free legal and psychological assistance.

Nadia Volkova is a Director of the Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group and a former Chief of “Human Rights in Action” Programme. She oversaw projects on managing consequences of the armed conflict in Ukraine and represented victims of the human rights violations in the conflict zone in national courts, at the European Court of Human Rights and other international human rights organisations.

This event is organised in partnership with Henry Jackson Society and is supported by the Ukrainian Embassy to the UK.

Date and Time

Location

Millbank Tower

21-24 Millbank

21-24 Millbank

London

SW1P 4QP

United Kingdom

View Map

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