Russia and the Donetsk Republic announce a major prisoner exchange with Ukraine. – The Informant.



Russia and the Donetsk Republic announce a major prisoner exchange with Ukraine.

Posted on June 30 by RT


Russia attested that an exchange of captives with Ukraine took place on June 29, with most of those freed seriously injured. kyiv claims that part of the captives belonged to the Azov regiment, which Moscow has not confirmed.

Ukraine declared on June 29 that it had exchanged 144 captured soldiers with Russia: “This is the largest exchange [avec Moscou] since the start of the Russian invasion,” the Main Intelligence Directorate, attached to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, said on Telegram, without giving further details on the place and date of the operation.

“Among them are 43 soldiers of the Azov regiment“, also affirmed the Ukrainian intelligence service, in reference to this unit formed of Ukrainian volunteers with Nazi references. According to the Ukrainian authorities, these fighters were exchanged with 52 other soldiers who were also in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, when it was taken by the Russian army. Most of the prisoners exchanged “are seriously injured” after being hit “by bullets or shrapnel”, but also suffer from “burns, fractures”, specified Ukrainian intelligence. “They are all receiving care – medical and psychological,” the service added.

On Telegram, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Chmygal simply described this work of releasing prisoners as “complicated”.

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In a June 30 statement, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov confirmed – also without referring to members of the Azov battalion – that kyiv and Moscow had carried out a prisoner exchange, “under direct orders of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”. According to the statement, the fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republics and Lugansk (recognized by Moscow but not by Kyiv) made up “the majority” of the prisoners exchanged. The spokesperson specified that “virtually all of those released are injured or seriously injured”, and that they “are already receiving all the necessary medical treatment”. Igor Konashenkov also made a point of recalling that “the total number of Ukrainian soldiers captured or who surrendered is more than 6,000”.

Without confirming the presence of fighters from the Azov battalion among those released, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, indicated that the exchange announced by Ukraine had indeed taken place, affirming that 144 “soldiers from the Donetsk People’s Republic and Russia” had “come home”. The released Ukrainian prisoners are meanwhile “in a deplorable state, with serious injuries,” he said on Telegram.

kyiv and Moscow have carried out several exchanges of prisoners since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24. The latest officially announced before these two exchanges took place in early May and involved 41 Ukrainians. The two countries also exchanged the bodies of killed soldiers in mid-June, which enabled Ukraine to recover the remains of 64 defenders of the Azovstal steelworks.

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