Zelenskyy: We must do everything possible to return our people to Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed the importance of finding and returning home all illegally exported or forcibly detained persons.

“Today, no one can say for sure how many of our citizens – children and adults, warriors and civilians – are being held in Russian captivity, in Russian deportation, in camps, and how many of our people are in the prisons of this terrorist state. But each of us can and must speak with absolute certainty and specificity: we must do our best to bring all these people home to Ukraine,” he said, speaking on Monday at a meeting of the International Platform for the Release of Civilians Illegally Detained by the Russian Federation.

“Everyone has seen what our people look like after the Russian captivity, after all these terrible tortures. Everyone knows what our people testify about, the atrocities they recount. And the world knows with what cruelty Russia is trying to conceal the truth about the captured Ukrainians and to indoctrinate the children abducted from Ukraine ... To teach them hatred – hatred specifically towards their own home,” he said.

According to him, “it is very important not to forget about anyone and to find absolutely everyone. All civilians, all our adults, children, all our Crimeans – everyone, absolutely everyone. Military, civilians. Deported and Crimean political prisoners.” He named, in particular, Nariman Dzhelyal, Vladyslav Yesypenko.”

“And it is imperative to bring Russia, every war criminal, all those involved in the deportation of our people, those involved in the torture of prisoners to justice … Please do more every time – because it is not enough – more than seems possible, more than there is strength for, more than planned to bring our people home,” he called on the platform participants.

In turn, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said that "Ukraine must seek justice in the international criminal court. It has the right to any means of protection provided for by international law in relation to crimes against human rights."

"Children have the right to be free from war, they have the right to grow up next to their parents, they have the right not to be taken out of the country, they have the right not to be cut off from the history of their people's heritage. Bulgaria stands for the sacred right of every nation, for every country to live normally in peace, in prosperity, independently determining its future," he said.

According to him, "Bulgaria is actively involved in the implementation of the four sections of President Zelenskyy's Peace Formula."

"Bulgaria condemns the aggressor, violation of international law, cruelty against humanity. Bulgaria supports Ukrainians in their struggle for their own freedom, for recognition of the ideals of European democracy and speaks with words of respect to those fighting for their freedom. Bulgaria will continue to support Ukraine as long as it takes," he said.