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22 May, 2024 17:06

RT editor-in-chief releases list of Ukrainian POWs ‘abandoned by Zelensky’

The country’s leader is only interested in “Azovites and such,” Margarita Simonyan has said
RT editor-in-chief releases list of Ukrainian POWs ‘abandoned by Zelensky’

There are 500 Ukrainian soldiers in Russian captivity that Kiev is not interested in getting back, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said on Wednesday, making their names public.

Russia has offered to release 500 prisoners from its large cohort of captives in exchange for an equal number of Russian service members from Ukrainian captivity. Kiev has not agreed to the proposal.

“I have a complete list of 500 Ukrainian prisoners of war that Kiev has been refusing to exchange for four months now,” Simonyan wrote on Telegram, posting the documents with their names and dates of birth.

Simonyan also posted a list of 38 names whose return Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has requested, describing them as “Azovites and such,” referring to the neo-Nazi Azov organization.

The last prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine took place on February 8, and involved 100 personnel from each side. Two weeks prior, Ukraine shot down a transport plane carrying 65 of their POWs in Belgorod Region, claiming they had in fact targeted a resupply of Russian missiles.

The two sides also exchanged the remains of fallen troops on April 12, when Ukraine received 99 bodies and Russia 23.

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said that Kiev has used “double standards” to obstruct prisoner exchanges, such as removing privates and sergeants from consideration and listing many of the POWs as missing in action. According to Moskalkova, Kiev tends to prioritize “media personalities” while showing little interest in ordinary troops.

Moscow has rejected Kiev’s proposal to conduct “religious exchanges,” saying it makes no sense to separate POWs by faith. Russia has also declined a proposal made by Pope Francis to carry out an “all for all” swap, as this would disproportionately favor Kiev.