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ISW experts explain Russia's interest in prisoner exchange

ISW experts explain Russia's interest in prisoner exchange ISW experts explained why Russia may be interested in a prisoner exchange (photo:

High-ranking Russian officials may be interested in portraying Russia as a country that adheres to humanitarian and other legal principles, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

ISW also notes that the desire to launch a new information campaign may be linked to a series of incidents in recent weeks where Russian forces utilized Ukrainian prisoners of war, including soldiers and officers, in blatant violations of the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war. These incidents involved using them as human shields in active combat, executions, and other violations.

Therefore, the timing of the exchange might be part of a new informational campaign to shape a narrative amid these controversial actions.

Prisoner exchange on January 3

Yesterday the largest exchange of prisoners since the beginning of the full-scale invasion took place between Ukraine and Russia. Our country managed to bring home 230 defenders.

Such a prisoner exchange occurred after a lengthy pause, as Russia had been blocking the process for a long time. This is the 49th exchange of prisoners since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the first in 2024. Currently, Ukraine has managed to bring home 2,828 defenders.

The Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, reported that the United Arab Emirates assisted in organizing the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia, which took place on January 3.