Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says about 100 Ukrainian hostages of the Kremlin who are illegally imprisoned in Russia are "celebrating" Christmas in jail.
"About 100 Ukrainian citizens who are illegally imprisoned in Russia are 'celebrating' Christmas holidays in jail. AGAIN!" the ministry's press service wrote on Facebook on January 6, having posted the relevant video address.
"Some of the Ukrainian political prisoners had been released and returned back home to their families and friends, but they couldn't see the loved ones for years and have 'celebrated' many holiday seasons in prisons. Given that, our New Year's resolution is to do everything we can to bring our people back home," the press service added.
The ministry and the earlier released Kremlin's hostages, namely Roman Sushchenko, Arthur Panov, Mykola Karpyuk, Oleksiy Syzonovych, and Volodymyr Balukh, in their video address, called on the international community to help free all Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
As UNIAN reported earlier, 24 Ukrainian sailors, who were captured by Russian special forces near the Kerch Strait in November 2018, and 11 political prisoners were returned by Russia to Ukraine as part of a prisoner exchange operation on September 7. The political prisoners include Roman Sushchenko, Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpyuk, Oleksiy Syzonovych, Pavlo Hryb, Edem Bekirov, Yevhen Panov, and Arthur Panov.
Meanwhile, 35 people were transferred to Russia. All of them were convicted of various crimes in Ukraine or are persons involved in criminal proceedings, including an investigation into the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014.