ua en ru

Deliberate actions by Russia: Ukrainian intelligence comments on prisoner swap disruption

Deliberate actions by Russia: Ukrainian intelligence comments on prisoner swap disruption Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The planned exchange of prisoners of war between Ukraine and Russia, scheduled for today, did not take place, although the Ukrainian side fulfilled its part of the agreement, reports the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Military intelligence notes that, according to the Russian side's assertion, "this occurred as a result of the downing of a Russian Il-76 aircraft, supposedly transporting our prisoners."

At present, the intelligence has no credible and comprehensive information "regarding who exactly was on board the aircraft and in what quantity."

"On our part, Ukraine fulfilled all the agreements for the exchange preparation. Russian prisoners of war were timely delivered to the agreed point for the exchange, where they were in safety," the statement reads.

The intelligence also points out that, according to the agreements, the Russian side was supposed to ensure the security of Ukrainian defenders.

"At the same time, the Ukrainian side was not informed about the need to ensure the safety of the airspace in the Belgorod area within the specified period, as was repeatedly done in the past," it added.

It is noted that Ukraine was not informed about the number of vehicles, routes, and forms of transportation of the prisoners.

"It is known that the transportation of prisoners occurs both by aviation and by rail and road transport," the statement says.

Military intelligence states that this could indicate deliberate actions by Russia aimed at creating a threat to the lives and safety of the prisoners.

"The landing of a transport aircraft in a 30-kilometer combat zone cannot be safe and, in any case, should be discussed by both parties, as otherwise it endangers the entire exchange process. Therefore, this could be deliberate and planned actions by the Russian Federation to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and weaken international support for our state," the statement says.


Earlier today, it became known that a military transport plane Il-76 crashed in the Korocha district of the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation. RBC-Ukraine sources report that the aircraft was transporting missiles for the S-300 missile system.

Meanwhile, Russia claims that the plane supposedly carried 65 Ukrainian military prisoners, six crew members, and three escorts. Russia accuses Ukraine of shooting down the aircraft.

Ukraine has responded to Russian statements, urging Ukrainians not to spread unverified information until official statements are made.

Later, a statement from the General Staff appeared amid information about the Il-76 crash near Belgorod. The statement mentioned that the Armed Forces of Ukraine would continue to take measures to control the airspace in the Belgorod-Kharkiv direction.

For more details on the Il-76 crash in the Belgorod region, read RBC-Ukraine's coverage.