Negotiations on the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia, including the military who left the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, are being conducted by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, whose task is to return Ukrainian citizens home. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a conversation with media representatives on the occasion of Journalist's Day.
The Head of State noted that an appropriate joint body has been set up on the basis of the Main Intelligence Directorate, which is responsible for all issues of war prisoners.
"We know what can be agreed on with the Russians, we know this price. We know they can’t be trusted. The Main Intelligence Directorate must deal with this issue and provide the result. The only result is to bring people home," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
According to the President, the Main Intelligence Directorate has fulfilled the first part of the task - bringing people out of the plant alive.
"Today there is the second part - to bring them home alive. This mission does not consist of these two steps," the Head of State stated.
According to him, the representatives of the directorate are the specialists who should work on the liberation of these prisoners, as they have proved their professionalism during a number of important operations.
"That's why I trust them personally, and we expect results from them," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy, adding that this task is not easy.
The Head of State also noted that there may be more than 2,500 prisoners from Azovstal on the territory of certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Regarding the treatment of these prisoners, including the intention to hold a so-called public tribunal, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was not ready to comment on the plans of the Russians, as they are constantly changing them, and many people organize PR for themselves on this issue.
As for whether these people are being tortured, the President is convinced that it is not in the interests of the Russian side to do so, because they are "public prisoners" whose condition is monitored by the world community.