Russia preparing disinformation campaign over reasons behind suspension of POW exchanges – Coordination HQ

Russia preparing disinformation campaign over reasons behind suspension of POW exchanges – Coordination HQ

Ukraine's Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War has warned that Russian propaganda channels will launch another wave of disinformation shortly regarding the reasons behind the suspension of prisoner of war exchanges.

The Coordination Headquarters announced this on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

"The goal of the Russian special services is to destabilize the situation within Ukrainian society and to sow distrust in the state bodies that organize prisoner exchanges," the post read.

The Coordination Headquarters noted that since the summer of this year, despite all efforts by Ukraine to continue the humanitarian mission of returning prisoners of war, authorized Russian representatives have been systematically complicating the exchange process.

"To justify their inaction, the Russian side is preparing accusations against Ukraine. In particular, they are preparing to accuse the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War of exaggerating the requirements regarding the exchange formula and the intention to return servicemen of all units without exception, particularly those against whom the Russian authorities harbor special propaganda rage," the report said.

The headquarters noted that Russia continued to violate all norms of international humanitarian law, using the topic of prisoners for information and psychological operations against Ukrainian society, especially against the vulnerable category - families of prisoners and missing persons.

"On our side, nothing has changed in the negotiation process since we managed to bring home more than 300 of our defenders every month. The opposite side's attempt to make excuses, instead of continuing the humanitarian mission of exchanging prisoners, shows that they are little concerned about the fate of a large number of Russian prisoners of war who were captured on foreign territory, especially during the latest 'meat assaults,' as well as their families," the Coordination Headquarters said.

It added that every prisoner of war or missing person, as well as a civilian and non-combatant taken hostage, is important to Ukraine.

"We do not divide anyone by the level of negative emotions from the Russian side. All our soldiers defend their land and they did not come to kill, rob and destroy someone else's land. Despite this, all Russian prisoners of war are held in accordance with the norms of international humanitarian law, and missions of the International Committee of the Red Cross have unhindered accession to them, which the Russian side has not yet provided. While the Coordination Headquarters operates in Ukraine as the only authorized body, the aggressor state has not yet managed to establish effective and unified work and communication," the post said.

The Coordination Headquarters stressed that they work every day to return all defenders and search for missing persons.

"The negotiation process with the opposite side is ongoing. We are ready to hand over Russian prisoners of war to their families only by returning our defenders home," the Coordination Headquarters said.

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