Putin’s POW figures debunked by Ukrainian intelligence

Exchange of prisoners on May 31, 2024
Exchange of prisoners on May 31, 2024

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claims Russia holds nearly 6,500 Ukrainian soldiers captive, but Ukrainian military intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov refuted these statements as propaganda, Liga.net reported on June 6.

Read also: Sixty-five soldiers and 10 civilians returned from Russian captivity in prisoner swap

During an event with Russian propagandist media TASS on June 5, Putin claimed that 6,465 Ukrainian soldiers were in Russian captivity and that Ukraine held 1,348 Russian POWs.

Putin reiterated his false claims about the "significant losses" of Ukrainian troops in the war with Russia, alleging that they exceeded Russian losses "several times over."

Putin's statements come ahead of the Peace Summit, where the protection of prisoners of war and their return home will be key topics, said Yusov. These statements are part of a disinformation campaign and indicate that the issue of prisoners is also painful for Russia, he said.

Yusov dismissed Putin's figures about the number of POWs, particularly those held by Ukraine, as false but added that Ukraine will not provide alternative figures.

Ukraine and Russia conducted a prisoner exchange on May 31, 52nd since the start of Russia's invasion, returning 75 soldiers home. The exchange was supported by the UAE.

So far, 3210 Ukrainians returned to Ukraine from Russian captivity.

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Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights, Tatyana Moskalkova, claimed on May 29 that the exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine "has been suspended for several months." She accused Ukraine of making "unsubstantiated demands" for the exchanges and claimed to be in constant dialogue with the Ukrainian Ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Lubinets refuted these statements and accused Russia of stalling the exchanges.

The largest exchange since the beginning of the Russian invasion took place on January 3, 2024. Ukraine brought home 230 citizens, including 213 soldiers and sergeants, 11 officers, and six civilians. Among them were defenders of Azovstal.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine