Map of enforced disappearances in Ukraine

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Interactive map of enforced disappearances in Ukraine

Formed in 30 years, civil society in Ukraine has shown its cohesion, professionalism and devotion to the country through Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.

In the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, Russian officials and their military are cynically abducting, bullying and capturing both civil society and ordinary Ukrainians.

The Center for Civil Liberties, together with the Euromaidan SOS initiative, has created a Map of Enforced Disappearances of Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Activists and Representatives of Local Self-Government Bodies.

The Map graphically displays current information on the state of pressure on civil society over time and regions, which is constantly updated and supplemented.

Human rights defenders developed a guide for relatives of civilian hostages

If a member of your family is a civilian hostage and has not been in touch for a long time, please follow the advice given in this guide. We provide step-by-step instructions on what to do and whom to contact.

  1. Registering the instance of captivity or disappearance. Please use the following hotlines:
    ● The National Police Hotline for Finding Missing or Dead Persons 0 800 21 21 51 and 089 420 1867
    National Information Bureau under the Ministry for Reintegration 1648 and 0442878165
    Commissioner for Human Rights: 0800501720
    ● The OHCHR’s Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Telegram:
    ohchr_hrmmu (messages only) Viber: +380503746708 (messages only)
    International Committee of the Red Cross: Hotline 0800300155 Search service 0963044375, 0662509957
    Joint Center for Search and Release of Prisoners:+380676508332,+380980873601
    Important: Calling the police hotline is NOT the same as instituting criminal proceedings, it is merely a report that is likely to be registered under the Law of Ukraine on Appeals by Citizens; therefore, you MUST draft a report requesting institution of criminal proceedings and send it to the police or directly
    to the Security Service of Ukraine.

Another important thing: In your report of a crime, you should demand recognition as a victim, since victims are entitled to more procedural rights. Until you are recognized as a victim and have been issued the card of your procedural rights and duties, you enjoy the status of an applicant or witness.

2. Please contact the nearest police station in person: Provide all the information about those who became civilian hostages, the circumstances and time of their captivity. Upon giving your testimony, you will be issued the criminal proceedings number.

After the police have taken your testimony, SSU officers should pay a visit to you to clarify matters in the case, as it is the SSU that will be investigating the crime. However, we recommend that you contact them yourself. On classification of the crime. If there is solid evidence of the person’s capture by the invaders, this crime is classified under Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. If there is no communication with a person who is in the territory not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, this is also classified under Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. If the proceedings have been instituted with a different classification, it may be changed subsequently, although this will take some time.

3. Please contact the Security Service of Ukraine in person, presenting a document certifying your identity and a document evidencing your relationship with the missing person (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.). You may apply to the oblast unit or, preferably, to the Main SSU Unit in Kyiv (33 Volodymyrska St.). At the checkpoint, the duty investigator will meet you and take your application in the public reception room.

Otherwise, a pass will be issued to you, and you will be escorted to the investigator’s office. The investigator must be provided with all available information and evidence of your family member becoming a civilian hostage. You should also provide the following (if any): the phone number from which your family member called, the frame-by-frame screen capture of the video in which he/she was seen, screenshots of posts in Telegram chats, etc.

After that, a letter of non-disclosure and an interview report will be signed between you (the applicant) and the SSU.

You will be provided with the case number and contact data of the investigator assigned to it.

Where no documents evidencing kinship are available, you should apply to the court for establishing kinship, if this fact entails immediate legal consequences for the applicant, and file a petition for establishing the legal fact of living as one family.

Information about establishing the fact of living as one family without being married is available atВстановлення факту проживання однією сім’єю чоловіка та жінки без шлюбу?

  1. After the application has been filed and the case has been opened, you will be provided with the criminal proceedings number and meet the investigator who will work on the case. You should obtain the investigator’s contact data so that if any new information appears, you would be able to communicate it to the investigator immediately and monitor the progress of the case.
  2. Using the help of a lawyer, contact the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with a request for humanitarian aid or establishing communication with the captured family member.
    The Ukrainian version of the ICRC website with contact data in Ukraine is available at The English version of the ICRC website with contact data of the Geneva Headquarters is available at
    We recommend that you put your request on paper and send it to the Geneva Headquarters from a European country.

If the status and whereabouts of your family member are unknown:

  1. Apply to the nearest police station with a report stating that communication with your family member has been lost. After the report has been filed, you will be issued a document indicating the criminal proceedings number in the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations.
  2. If you are a family member (father, mother, child), submit your DNA for a DNA test (the police will provide you with all the necessary information). If the DNA cannot be obtained, a petition should be filed with the court for exhuming the parents’ or children’s bodies in order to extract the genome of the deceased for a DNA test. After that, you will have to wait to see if there is a match. A partial match is not regarded as confirmation.
    Besides, the missing person’s belongings may be seized to extract DNA traces.
    After taking all the above steps, you should contact the Commissioner for Persons Missing Under Special Circumstances. Contact phones: 0800339247 and 0958960421

IMPORTANT: Never pay for any services at any of these steps. Any offers of services for a fee mostly come from crooks.

You should also record any mentions made of your family member: every time you see his/her photo or video in Telegram channels, download them, take screenshots and forward them to the investigator. This may help to establish whereabouts.

It is important to understand that, given the ongoing war in the country, any investigation of crimes cannot be fully effective in practice; therefore, you should facilitate it by independently searching for evidence, confirmation (videos, photos, etc.), and passing it to the investigator.

On applications to international institutions: Together with your lawyer, draft an appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee. If you don’t know any lawyers and need help with this, please contact us at

If you witnessed the detention of a person, or have any other information about the detention of a military or civilian person, fill out the form


With support Human Rights Fund and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands