Ukrainian POWs Employed by Russia to Sow Unrest Again Home: Report

People of Ukrainian prisoners of war held in Russia have staged protests in numerous metropolitan areas urging the government to operate on their release. In accordance to a new report, Russia could be purposefully applying the POWs to foment distrust of Kyiv.

Considering the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have been taken as prisoners of war. Some 4,000 are nonetheless currently being held months after they had been taken, with almost 50 % of them becoming captured past 12 months although making an attempt to protect Mariupol in southern Ukraine, CNBC described.

Protesters hold signs and flags in Kyiv

Relatives and activists are keeping a rally in Sofiiska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, on December 23, 2023, in help of Ukrainian POWs who are remaining held in Russian captivity.

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A Ukrainian formal advised Politico that some family members have obtained calls from their cherished ones held in Russia that look to be aimed at sowing unrest back again dwelling.

“A particular person has not read from a relative for extra than a 12 months, and in this article he calls and states that he is alive. Russians are all set to trade him, but Ukraine does nothing at all,” Petro Yatsenko, spokesperson for Ukraine workers dealing with prisoners of war, told the outlet. “Not long ago these phone calls grew to become enormous. So, we comprehended that this is a campaign to induce distrust in the govt.”

Protesters hold photos of POWs

Protesters in Odesa, Ukraine, on December 24, 2023, hold placards and banners during a march in assist of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

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The wife of a Ukrainian POW held in Russia explained to Politico she just lately heard from her spouse, who was captured on February 24, 2022, the 1st day of the invasion. Irrespective of barely listening to term of her husband, she gained a online video connect with from him in November.

“It was Serhii. We talked only for 3 minutes. I was not authorized to inquire him issues. As before long as I tried using, he shook his head and just said no,” Valentyna Tkachenko told Politico. “Alternatively, he stored declaring: ‘Valya, go make things really hard for Kyiv. Kyiv does not want to get us again,'” Tkachenko recalled. “Then he said he was sorry and ended the contact, promising to call me back if he at any time has a prospect.”

ZAPORIZHZHIA, UKRAINE - 2023/12/24: Protesters hold placards during the motor rally in support of Ukrainian prisoners of war under the slogan "Don't be silent! Captivity kills!" in Zaporizhzhia.

Protesters in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on December 23, 2023, maintain placards throughout the motor rally in support of Ukrainian prisoners of war less than the slogan “Never be silent! Captivity kills!”

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Tkachenko did not join protests, but other family associates and buddies of Ukrainian POWs have a short while ago held demonstrations as prisoner swaps among Russia and Ukraine have slowed, CNBC documented.

The New York Times documented in Oct that Ukrainian people were being staging protests “in a scarce present of community criticism in wartime” in which they known as on the governing administration to launch a lot more facts on the status of POWs.

Protesters in Lyiv on December 26 held a “Next Christmas In Captivity” demonstration to help the defenders of Mariupol, who have been prisoners of Russia because the initial 12 months of the war.

Relatives and activists are holding a rally in Sofiiska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, on December 23, 2023, in support of Ukrainian POWs who are being held in Russian captivity.

Kin and activists are keeping a rally in Sofiiska Sq. in Kyiv, Ukraine, on December 23, 2023, in support of Ukrainian POWs who are being held in Russian captivity.

Ukrinform/NurPhoto/Getty Images



In Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on December 24 a demonstration for prisoners of war took area with the slogan “Will not be silent! Captivity kills!”

“Our men are becoming tortured. We have to have exchanges. Our enemy is not noble: They do not notice any conventions,” Olha Plechunshe, organizer of the event, told Radio Cost-free Europe.

And in Kyiv on December 23, protesters put pictures of 80 Mariupol defenders who are nevertheless getting held in Russian captivity.

Protesters in Odessa, Ukraine, on December 23, 2023, hold a banner reading "Freedom for the defenders of Mariupol."

Protesters in Odesa, Ukraine, on December 23, 2023, hold a banner reading “Flexibility for the defenders of Mariupol.”

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In accordance to the Ukrainian military services, 2,598 POWs have been returned, but the last identified prisoner swap was in August.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained last 7 days the lack of swaps was thanks to unspecified “causes” by the Russians, but that he hopes they will resume quickly.

Russia has also been documented to be utilizing Ukrainian POWs to struggle from their have homeland. Drone footage released by Ukraine this month also appeared to display Russian troopers using Ukrainian POWs as human shields.

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