Minsk 17:34

Ukrainian rights commissioner says Kyiv has channel to communicate with Minsk

Dmytro Lubinets
(FREEDOM report screengrab)

July 10, Pozirk. The release of three Ukrainian women and two men in late June was the first time Kyiv managed to bring back its nationals from Belarus, Dmytro Lubinets, Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights told journalists yesterday.

One of the released, Mykola Shveć, was accused of attacking Russia’s A-50 military aircraft in the Mačuliščy air base near Minsk in February 2023.

“I can’t disclose the details, but I can say that at least now I have established at least some channel of communication with the Belarusian side,” Ukrinform quoted him as saying.

Lubinets also noted the difference in the treatment of captive Ukrainians in Belarus and Russia.

“Ukrainians [held in custody] in the territory of Belarus did not mention torture or beatings. . . . They had been convicted illegally, but not tortured. They [were held] in relatively acceptable conditions and had decent food, which could be seen from their appearance,” he said.

Minsk handed over the five Ukrainians to Kyiv on June 29 after negotiations that reportedly involved the Vatican.

Also read: Minsk hands over 5 Ukrainian prisoners to Kyiv