Russia never returns POWs directly to families – Exchange Coordination HQ


The Russian side has not handed over a single prisoner of war directly to their relatives, while those daring to engage in such talks also risk being captured.

That’s according to a statement by the POW Exchange Coordination Headquarters following a meeting with the families of the captured troops with the Aidar Battalion, Ukrinform reports.

The HQ official reported that the team succeeds in exchanging prisoners of war, who have been charged or even sentenced in Russia. At the same time, the aggressor state provides no information on the investigation targeting specific individuals. Most information mainly comes from those who were freed from captivity.

Read also: Security Service of Ukraine shows release of Ukrainian POWs

The representative of the HQ emphasized that the media coverage of any particular POW case is of no help in the negotiation process. For example, the exchange effort that was completed on December 31, when 140 defenders were returned, involved no POWs whose case would be highlighted by the press.

It is noted that the meeting also discussed to what extent it is possible for the families to engage in the POW swap talks on their own.

“Russia never gave a POW directly to relatives. In addition, relatives themselves risk being captured. There is a big problem with returning home the civilians,” said Oleksandr Kononenko with the Ombudsman’s Office.

The Coordination HQ recalled that Ukraine is working on the liberation of all citizens captured by Russia.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, 1,596 people – both military and civilians – were freed from Russian captivity last year.

Source: Russia never returns POWs directly to families - Exchange Coordination HQ

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