Russian and Ukrainian human rights officials take steps toward asking Putin and Zelenskyy to free alleged political prisoners
Top Russian human rights official Tatiana Moskalkova and her Ukrainian counterpart, Lyudmila Denisova, have taken steps toward returning Russians imprisoned in Ukraine and Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia to their home countries, TASS reported.
The two human rights officials exchanged lists of prisoners they believed may be eligible for release following additional negotiations. Denisova’s list included 150 names, and Moskalkova did not specify how many prisoners’ names she sent in return.
Denisova and Moskalkova now plan to ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon the prisoners involved.
Since 2014, the imprisonment of dozens of Russians in Ukraine and Ukrainians in Russia has driven a protest movement in both countries demanding a mass prisoner exchange. Some of the cases involved, such as that of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, are considered by many human rights advocates to be politically motivated.