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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 and 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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“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, and physical aptitude, and with a view particularly to maintaining them in a good state of physical and mental health.”
Prisoners of war must also be granted suitable working conditions, “especially as regards accommodation, food, clothing, and 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, and the daily duration cannot exceed that “permitted for civilian workers in the district.”
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Thousands of people have died during the Russian invasion, and more than 2 million people have already fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations.