GUR: Ukraine and Russia were preparing for the exchange of prisoners for today, but after the fall of Il-76 it is on pause

Liza Brovko

The Main Directorate of Intelligence confirmed that today Ukraine and Russia were preparing a prisoner exchange.

Andriy Yusov, representative of the Ukrainian SSR, reported this in a comment to Radio Svoboda.

"I can state that the exchange planned for today is currently not taking place," he said.

And he added that they are checking information from the Russian Ministry of Defense that there could have been prisoners of war on board the Il-76, which crashed in the Belgorod region. This is done, in particular, by the Ukrainian Coordination Headquarters.

In the morning, it became known that an Il-76 military transport plane carrying equipment and troops crashed in the Belgorod region of Russia. The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the plane crash, but claims that there were allegedly 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war on board, who were being transported for exchange.

Russia also said that the downing of the Il-76 disrupted the 192-for-192 exchange. According to the Russian media The Insider, there was another one flying behind the downed plane, which was allegedly carrying 80 more prisoners. He was deployed.

  • At the beginning of January , Ukraine returned more than 200 soldiers and civilians from Russian captivity. The Russian Federation claimed to have received 248 of its military personnel, and the exchange itself was allegedly facilitated by the United Arab Emirates as an intermediary. Before that, the last official exchange was in August.
  • Russia is dragging out the process in order to influence Ukrainian society and create the impression that the authorities are allegedly not dealing with this issue. Currently, the Russian Federation is holding more than 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers and about 28,000 civilians in captivity. This is the official confirmed data, but the real number may be higher.