On June 29, Russia and Ukraine exchanged prisoners of war. The exchange took place near the village of Kamenskoye, about 46 kilometers from Zaporizhzhya. Itwas carried out at the standard rate of one person per person(144 to 144).
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that the largest exchange of prisoners of war took place. Moscow, in particular, handed over to Kiev 95 servicemen who surrendered on the territory of the Mariupol Azovstal plant, including 43 soldiers of the Azov regiment.
During the exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine, 47 citizens of the DPR were released, the DPR ombudsman said.
Among the exchanged Russian POWs there were reportedly several officers and two pilots as the Ukrainian Armed Forces were extremely reluctant to give up military personnel with combat experience.
The exchange of captured Russian soldiers for fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) was carried out on the direct instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the official representative of the Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, claimed on June 30.
One of the Ukrainian channels showed the exchange process, filming Ukrainian POWs expressing their positive emotions.
The both sides claimed that the exchanged servicemen were severely wounded and needed medical treatment.
However, in fact, most of Russian and Ukrainian fighters did not appear to be mutilated.
The exchange of members of Ukrainian Nazi units by the Russian military turned into a political failure of the Russian side.
Moscow had previously declared that militants of Ukrainian Azov regiment and other Nazi formation will not be treated like the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to various claims by the Russian military, they should face trial and would not be exchanged.
However, some of them were exchanged.
In recent months, it has become clear that the Russian military and political command has decided to divide the Ukrainian Nazis into “good” and “bad”, which has had a significant negative impact on the morale of Russian servicemen fighting Ukrainian nationalists on the front line, as well as shaken the level of support for the Russian military operation among the civilian population.
Thus, the stated goals of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which included “denazification”, are no longer being respected.
The pow exchange shows that despite the harsh battles, Russia and Ukraine still have the dignity to wage war according to certain rules. Moreover, the exchange went fairly and was not disrupted.
According to the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the total number of Ukrainian POWa is more than 6 thousand servicemen. According to Ukrainian statements issued at the beginning of May, the Kiev military had up to 500-600 more Russian POWs in captivity, some of them were servicemen of the DPR and LPR. Judging by the latest exchanges, more than a third of this number has already been exchanged in the last couple of months.