The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) signed two separate agreements with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, Oct. 18, aimed at addressing the issue of more than 30,000 missing persons resulting from the Russian invasion and ongoing war.

The agreement with the Ministry of Justice, termed the Memorandum on Cooperation, aims to bolster investigations into missing persons cases.

This will involve a DNA-based identification process and other methods to locate missing individuals, collaborating closely with domestic institutions. The goals of this agreement include:

  • Strengthening the effectiveness of investigations related to missing persons, primarily victims of crimes against humanity.
  • Facilitating swift and efficient international support for forensic examinations.
  • Advancing data systems for maintaining the chain of evidence and cooperation between Ukrainian institutions.
  • Undertaking scientific, technical, and research activities to enhance missing persons identification procedures.

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes a framework for ICMP to provide support in the field of forensic science.

This support will encompass forensic anthropology, forensic odontology, data collection and processing, as well as efficient case management. ICMP is already actively supporting the forensic bureaus of the Ministry of Health.


Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of ICMP, emphasized the enormity of the task at hand, with tens of thousands of missing persons in Ukraine.

She stressed that no single country could manage such an immense caseload while simultaneously dealing with an ongoing war.

According to First Deputy Health Minister Serhiy Dubrov, approximately 30,000 Ukrainians are currently classified as missing.

“Due to the full-scale war with Russia, approximately 30,000 Ukrainians, both civilians and military personnel, are currently classified as missing. It is our responsibility to ensure a thorough investigation and documentation of war crimes for them. To achieve this, we must elevate our forensic examination system to meet international standards,” Dubrov said.

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ICMP is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and other authorities in locating persons missing as a result of conflicts, human rights abuses, disasters, organized violence and other causes and to assist them in doing so.


Check later in the day for the interview with the representatives of the ICMP.

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