Around 30,000 civilians have gone missing in Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion, Kathryne Bomberger, the head of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), told Suspilne news outlet.
This number may include people who are still alive but were separated from their families or detained, as well as those who died during the hostilities but whose bodies have not been identified, Bomberger said. Among them can also be Ukrainian children illegally deported by Russia.
"Before the (full-scale) invasion, many people were considered missing since 2014… But those numbers, although high, were not as high as today. Now they are much higher and continue to grow," the ICMP chief added.
"It is essential that all these facts are verified as part of the judicial process and that these investigations are conducted by judicial institutions."
Deputy Interior Minister Leonid Tymchenko met with Bomberger in Kyiv on Oct. 18, discussing Kyiv's efforts to find the missing persons and cooperation with ICMP.
According to Tymchenko, Ukraine's Unified Register of Persons Missing Under Special Circumstances currently includes about 28,000 people.