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 Largest PoW exchange since Russian invasion infographic
Graphic shows timeline of major PoW releases.


Largest PoW exchange since Russian invasion of Ukraine

By Phil Bainbridge

January 4, 2024 - In the largest single PoW exchange since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 230 Ukrainians have been released by Russia while 248 Russian military personnel were returned.

The deal, brokered by the United Arab Emirates, is the first since August 2023, and comes amid an escalation in air assaults, with Ukraine bombing Belgorod in retaliation for a massive drone attack on Kyiv.

The rate of prisoner releases dropped off sharply after July, when five commanders of the Azov battalion which held out in the siege of the steelworks in Mariupol were returned from Turkey, angering Moscow.

Some commentators suspect that Russia is co-operating in this way to deflect attention from recent reports of the abuse of prisoners in apparent violation of the Geneva Convention, including forcing them into active combat, using them as human shields and summary executions.

PUBLISHED: 04/01/2024; STORY: Graphic News