Russia accuses Ukraine of blocking prisoner exchange process

Archive – Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova – SERG GLOVNY / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova has accused Ukrainian authorities of blocking and delaying prisoner exchange processes by manipulating lists of soldiers held captive by Moscow, including them in the register of missing persons.

As Moskalkova has recounted on her official Telegram channel, she has recently received appeals from Ukrainian citizens begging Moscow to do everything possible to trace the whereabouts of their allegedly missing relatives. However, Russian authorities verify that these are in the custody of their Army.

«We found them alive among the prisoners of war on the territory of Russia and immediately offered to exchange them for our boys who are under Ukrainian captivity,» stressed a Moskalkova who acknowledged observing «with great concern» this maneuver of the Ukrainian authorities.

The Russian Commissioner for Human Rights has thus accused Kiev of trying to make «political profit» with the prisoner exchanges instead of being governed by questions of «mercy and humanism», at the same time warning that the processes of prisoner exchange are losing their «effectiveness».

Denouncing these alleged Ukrainian maneuvers, Moskalkova added that once Russia releases these prisoners registered by Kiev as missing, the military authorities force them to choose between being imprisoned or returning to the frontline to risk their lives «for the sake of Kiev’s politicians».

«In letters sent to me, mothers and wives (of Ukrainians) often ask me to leave their loved ones on the territory of Russia so that they are not forced to fight again,» said Moskalkova, who considers it «unfair to send to the combat zone people who have returned from captivity.»