Significant shifts underway to facilitate further POW swaps - intel spox

Significant shifts underway to facilitate further POW swaps - intel spox

Thanks to the latest POW swap, significant developments have taken place that will allow speeding up such exchanges in the future.

Andriy Yusov, Ukraine’s defense intelligence spokesman, said this on the air of the national telethon, Ukrinform reports.

"Today, 49 exchanges have already taken place, as part of which 2,828 Ukrainians returned home. There will be more later. Thanks to, including, the latest exchange effort, there are significant changes that will allow further acceleration of the process," said Yusov.

He emphasized that the exchange of prisoners of war depends on both sides, therefore the position of the aggressor state is also important.

Read also: Zelensky discusses return of POWs with Erdoğan

The representative of defense intelligence noted that the exchange process is being blocked at the motivation stage. According to him, Ukraine wants to return its people and applies a wide variety of tools to this end.

"We can recall Medvedchuk, who was swapped. Ukraine also initiated the establishment of mixed medical commissions together with the Red Cross. It initiates the involvement of international mediators," Yusov said.

He emphasized that, at the same time, discontent is growing in Russia among the families of Russian servicemen held by Ukraine. Yusov noted that some Russian families turn to Ukraine’s authorities for information on their relatives.

Read also: Russia “repeatedly refused” to take its POWs Ukraine offered for swap - ombudsman

"Russia is forced to react to this. The election simulation is already out there. These are also additional challenges. This creates a demand for continuing this process. The main thing for us is to seize any opportunity for the return of our defenders... There are prisoners in Ukraine in whose return Russia is really interested. The number of such persons is increasing," said the spokesman.

Yusov assured that Ukrainian diplomacy, including that behind closed doors, in the context of the exchange process and the return of Ukrainian prisoners, performs rather effectively.

As Ukrinform reported, 230 Ukrainian defenders returned to Ukraine from Russian captivity in the latest POW swap effort. Among them are 130 Army servicemen (including 14 representing territorial defense and 14 - Navy), 55 National Guardsmen, 38 border guards, a policeman, and six civilians whom Russia had illegally deprived of liberty.

Among those returned were those who had the official status of a prisoner of war, confirmed through the International Committee of the Red Cross (182 persons), as well as some Ukrainian servicemen who were considered missing (48).

Five of those released are women. Also, 213 people belong to the rank-and-file servicemen and sergeants, eleven are officers.

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