of Interior of Ukraine Аcademician Bogomolets St., 10, Kyiv, 01601, Ukraine
The representatives of the Joint US Army Personnel Recovery Agency will help create a holistic interagency system of psychological support for servicemen who were hostages, prisoners, who went through tortures and members of their families in Ukraine.
This was announced on Tuesday, September 5, by Barbara Trenker, deputy director of the Joint United States Agency for Reconstruction of the Armed Forces of the USA, during her visit to the 27th individual Brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine, where a two-day training course for military psychologists from the structures of the security and defense sector of Ukraine had begun.
«Rescuing and recovery of people is a very important mission. I am glad that in the next few days we will be working in Ukraine on the issues of reintegration of such people who were in captivity, were forced into isolation or tortured. And we are glad that we have the prospect of future partnership with the Ukrainian side ... We hope that we will be able to help Ukraine rebuild the system of reintegration of personnel, both military and civil servants working in this area», she said.
According to Barbara Trenker, reintegration and return to the execution of the duties of servicemen who were hostages and prisoners is an extremely important process that requires special attention from the side of the state leadership. She noted that this task is one of the top priorities in the United States.
The deputy commander of the National Guard of Ukraine on work with personnel, Major General Yaroslav Spodar said that the command of the National Guard of Ukraine is convinced that rehabilitation of servicemen should take place at the state level. He also expressed the hope that during the training the US specialists will share their experience with Ukrainian military psychologists, in particular, regarding work with family members of killed soldiers or with those who got out of captivity. Indeed, in order to provide assistance to this category of people, a very special level of qualification and knowledge is needed.
«Since 2014, we have returned 280 people from captivity. Today, in the National Guard of Ukraine, there are still 16 missing and six are illegally detained on the other side. Accordingly, a psychologist is involved in the process of communicating with family members», ‑ said Yaroslav Spodar.
Authorized by the President of Ukraine on the issues of rehabilitation of participants of the antiterrorist operation, who were injured, contused, got mutilation or other illness during the participation in the ATO, Vadim Svyrydenko said that there are currently 132 Ukrainians in captivity and more than 1,000 who returned from captivity. According to him, both psychologists and volunteers work in Ukraine with this category of military personnel. Nevertheless, American experience in this area is very important because the United States have been involved in many military conflicts.
«They have a lot of experience, so we agreed with their psychologists to come, train us and share the experiences with our specialists. In general, it is planned to open a network of psychological centers for rehabilitation, where our experts will work not only with the militaries who were in captivity, but in general with those who have been engaged in hostilities. So this will be a more expanded program», said Vadim Svyrydenko.
Specialists of the Joint United States Reconnaissance Agency will conduct training for more than 40 psychologists of the National Guard of Ukraine, the Armed Forces, State Emergency Service of Ukraine, and State Border Guard Service during September 5-6. The purpose of the training is the exchange of experience, the increase of professional competence and the formation of the necessary professional skills in military psychologists, the creation of a coherent interagency system of psychological support for servicemen and members of their families.