The Association of Azovstal defenders’ families calls on the leaders of the free world, international organizations and everyone whose voice can be heard to help return female defenders from Russian captivity.

It is said in the statement that more than 40 female prisoners of war from Mariupol have been waiting returning home for more than 9 months. Russia refuses to return the defenders, turning their lives and health into ‘an element of political blackmail, and make them hostages’.

By its actions, Russia violates the norms of international humanitarian law and international obligations stipulated by the Geneva Convention.

Since May, the Russian Federation has not allowed any humanitarian mission, including Red Cross representatives, to the places of detention of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

‘Among the prisoners of war, the majority are representatives of medical personnel, cooks and other support services. During the 86 days of the heroic defense of Mariupol, women continued to perform their duties. Now they have been forcibly detained in inhumane conditions for more than 9 months, without regard due to them as representatives of the female sex’, the statement says.