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Moscow Blames Ukraine for Blocking POW Exchanges

Ukrainian prisoners of war on a bus in the occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol. Alexander Polegenko / TASS

Russia’s human rights commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova has blamed the authorities in Kyiv for roadblocking efforts to secure the further release of prisoners of war, the state-run Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, exchanges have been suspended for several months due to Ukraine constantly making new and far-fetched demands,” Moskalkova was quoted as saying by Interfax during a parliamentary committee hearing.

She did not specify what demands Ukraine was said to have been making. There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainian authorities about Moskalkova’s accusations.

Moscow and Kyiv last exchanged 200 prisoners of war in early February, marking the 51st time the two warring sides swapped imprisoned servicemen since the start of the full-scale invasion, according to Ukraine’s estimates.

Kyiv says that more than 3,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war have been returned so far, while Russian authorities have reported a similar number as both countries follow a one-to-one exchange formula.

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