UAE offers to mediate Russia-Ukraine POW swap – RIA source
The UAE has offered its “assistance” in a potential prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing a law enforcement source.
The Emirati proposals are being considered as the lists of personnel slated for the swaps are finalized, the report said.
Both Russia and Ukraine claim to have captured scores of each others soldiers since Moscow launched its military campaign in the neighboring country in late February.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on June 7 that nearly 6,500 Ukrainian fighters have been detained.
Ukrainian officials previously reported that 11 rounds of exchanges had taken place, in which dozens of prisoners were swapped.
Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of atrocities and the mistreatment of civilians and POWs.
Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s top human rights official, voiced concerns this month over the treatment of Russian prisoners in Ukraine. She also accused Kiev of holding Russian civilians hostage. She added that the International Red Cross had not provided any information about visits to check on the conditions the Russian POWs have been kept in.
Russia attacked the neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.