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President Zelenskyy: Prisoners exchanges with Russia are ongoing, often right on battlefield

President Zelenskyy: Prisoners exchanges with Russia are ongoing, often right on battlefield Photo: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The ongoing exchange of prisoners of war between Ukraine and Russia persists, occurring discreetly and at times directly on the battlefield. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared this information in an interview with the Associated Press.

According to the head of state, Ukraine is actively replenishing the exchange fund, facilitating ongoing prisoner exchanges.

"We engage in exchanges, restocking our exchange fund, and often these exchanges occur discreetly, not garnering much attention. To be frank, some exchanges take place right on the battlefield. When we hold 10 of their prisoners, and they have a few of our guys, we make the exchange. The commanders are well-instructed on these matters, knowing exactly what to do," Zelenskyy revealed.

The President mentioned that in the past six months, Ukraine successfully brought back approximately 100 soldiers from captivity. Since the onset of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation, several thousand Ukrainian soldiers have been liberated from Russian captivity.

Zelenskyy added that, regrettably, several thousand Ukrainian defenders remain in captivity.

Prisoners' exchange

It's worth noting that since the commencement of the full-scale war, both Ukraine and Russia have engaged in a series of prisoner-of-war exchanges. The latest exchange occurred on August 7, bringing 22 soldiers, including two officers along with enlisted and non-commissioned officers, back home.

Russia has currently halted the exchange of prisoners with Ukraine, and negotiations for its resumption are ongoing. According to the Coordination Headquarters, the Russian Federation suspended the exchange of prisoners of war, attempting to create an impression that the Ukrainian authorities are not actively addressing this issue.

Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets disclosed that Russian prisoners desire to return home, yet the Kremlin authorities are refusing to facilitate their repatriation.