Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova has posted a list of Ukrainian POWs on her Telegram channel, claiming that Ukraine allegedly refused to swap them “at the last moment” before a prisoner exchange on 7 March.
The list is all men. The youngest person on the list is 22 years old, the oldest 58, media outlet RBC notes.
On Tuesday, 7 March, Moskalkova said that “Ukraine agreed to only swap 90 people each instead of the previously agreed upon 160 each” after a POW exchange had taken place between Russia and Ukraine.
She added that the negotiation process was still ongoing. Ukraine’s Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets has not commented on the alleged change in the swap agreement.
The list of 70 Ukrainian POWs published by Moskalkova contains names of several people that have already been liberated, the Ukrainian Coordination HQ on Treatment of POWs Issues reports.
“Such provocations from Russia have happened before. <…> Ukraine is prepared to free all of our defenders the other side is offering to exchange,” the HQ said in a statement.
On 7 March, the Russian Defence Ministry announced that 90 Russian service members held as prisoners of war in Ukraine had returned home. Later, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak reported that 130 servicemen had returned to Ukraine as part of the swap. According to him, most of the liberated prisoners of war have serious injuries.
Russia and Ukraine last carried out a prisoner swap in mid-February, each side brought home 101 people. According to Yermak, 100 service members and one civilian returned to Ukraine. Out of the total number, 94 people defended Mariupol, with 64 of them fighting for the Azovstal steelworks.