The number of Ukrainians held by militants in the occupied territories of Donbass has increased to 137 over recent days. This was stated by Yuriy Tandyt, the Counselor to Head of the SBU, - 112.ua reports.
"Currently, 137 Ukrainian citizens are considered hostages. Unfortunately, this number has increased over the last several days. Russia-backed militants have been illegally detaining our fellow citizens, accusing them of crimes they never committed. Moreover, this figure has increased because of the fact that unarmed civilians who did not even cross the firing line were detained", - Tandyt noted.
The Counselor to Head of the SBU reported that people who cross the line of demarcation are being detained.
In particular, Vitaliy Rudenko, who managed to be released from captivity, was detained by militants. According to the Counselor to Head of the SBU, the militants detained V.Rudenko last autumn, while he was assured of security.
"Vitaliy Rudenko was insidiously detained last autumn, because he was assured of security on the part of Luhansk, he went to his father's funeral. As soon as he left the contact line, he was immediately detained. He had been illegally detained there for many months. From the very beginning, the Ukrainian delegation in Minsk fought for his liberation", - Tandyt said.