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Russian Prisoners of War

March 16, 2022 – CNN field producer Sebastian Shukla describes his interactions with Russian prisoners of war and their feelings on the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

July 19, 2022 – What prisoners do, eat and read in the only one camp for prisoners of war in Ukraine. This report is the beginning of a series of interviews with those who voluntarily joined the illegal armed formations of the so-called “LNR”

October 26, 2022 – After eight months of war, prisoners have accumulated on both sides of the border. But a detention center in west Ukraine is filling with Russian detainees, some of whom are seriously injured. And Kyiv is keen to demonstrate its respect for human rights by treating them with dignity. Vedika Bahl and our colleagues at France2 have this report from the prison.

February 4, 2023 – Amid intense frontline combat, a soldier fighting for Russia under the Luhansk People’s Republic found himself buried in a bunker and left to freeze to death by his Russian comrades. After spending two and a half grueling days trapped underground, not knowing if he would freeze to death, Ukrainian soldiers found and rescued Igor Mikhailovich Trofimenko, 49, and carried him away from constant shelling to safety.

February 14, 2023 – CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh investigates Russia’s use of prisoners to fight the war in Ukraine.

February 16, 2023 – Ukraine and Russia have been cooperating with prisoner of war exchanges despite the continuing war. Kyiv said this month it had secured the release of 1,762 men and women so far in prisoner swaps. These are highly sensitive operations, often taking months to arrange. Under the Geneva Conventions, prisoners of war must not be paraded or exposed to the public. The BBC has been given rare access to one facility where captured Russian soldiers are held in the west of Ukraine.

March 3, 2023 – Russia sent hundreds of thousands of troops into its war in Ukraine and suffered immense casualties. Some were drawn from prisons, both officially and through a private military company called the Wagner Group. With the support of the Pulitzer Center, Simon Ostrovsky and Yegor Troyanovsky traveled to a Ukrainian prisoner of war camp and met men faced with a stark choice, prison or the frontlines.

March 13, 2023 – Most of the Russian POWs who are waiting for the exchange programme are settled in the special camp in Ukraine, where they live, work and are medically treated. This is the second part of the exclusive interview that our correspondents were able to film in the POW camp.

March 31, 2023 – Edgar Jabs – Russian POW from the infamous ‘Wagner Group’ mercenaries. He was sentenced to 8 years in a strict regime colony, and in November 2022 he was recruited into the Wagner PMC. The Russian POW is sick with HIV, as he himself said. During the selection for the PMC, the commission knew about this but recognized him as ‘fit for military service.’ He spoke about how commanders sent the ‘Wagner’ prisoners to certain death, and about starvation in the Russian army. ‘Don’t come here. It’s hell here. You’ll just die. If you’re in prison, you’d better serve your term there. Don’t come here. Think about it before it’s too late,’ – the POW said.

April 8, 2023 – Kyiv Post gets rare access to extended interviews of prisoners of war from the Wagner group – Mercenary fighters claim their intentions were good and that fighting in Ukraine is morally justified. All were taken prisoner around Bakhmut in January. According to their accounts, attacking Wagner units are suffering 80 percent casualties.

April 10, 2023 – The Telegraph has been granted rare access to speak with two prisoners of war who were captured recently by the AFU as they were fighting with the so-called pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic. The prisoners’ descriptions of how they were forcibly conscripted – rounded up, handed old Soviet weapons and ordered to shoot without proper training – has come under intense criticism. Both Yevhen* and Bohdan* (*not the real names of the POWs) have maintained that they did not engage in close combat fighting. They claimed that they had been working as guards providing security to occupied buildings when they were captured. However, the ARU have disputed this story and stated that the men were found with machine guns and had been fighting in the trenches when they were captured. The POWs tell their stories to Defense Editor, Danielle Sheridan.