Three prisoners of war extradited by Russia to Hungary returned to Ukraine
Three of the 11 Ukrainian prisoners of war handed over by Russia to Hungary have been returned to Ukraine. They are currently being provided with all the necessary support.
This was announced by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleh Nikolenko. Ukrainian diplomats, together with the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, are making every effort to return eight more Ukrainian soldiers who are still in Hungary.
"The Embassy of Ukraine in Budapest managed to take three Ukrainian prisoners of war out of Hungary. They are already on Ukrainian territory and are being provided with all possible support. Ukrainian diplomats, together with the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War and other Ukrainian authorities involved, continue to take active measures to bring home the rest of the Ukrainian defenders taken from Russia to Hungary," Nikolenko said.
As the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War later reported, they are already on Ukrainian territory. The defenders are being provided with all possible support.
"The Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Security and Defence Forces continue to take active measures to bring home the rest of the Ukrainian defenders taken from Russia to Hungary," the statement said.
On 8 June, it was reported that the Russian Orthodox Church helped the occupiers transfer Ukrainian prisoners to Hungary. This "gesture of goodwill" was not agreed upon with Kyiv by either Moscow or Budapest.
The next day, the ROC's statement was officially confirmed by representatives of the Hungarian government. The expediency of such a transfer was justified by the "Transcarpathian origin" of the soldiers.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the transfer of prisoners of war had not been agreed with the Ukrainian government, and the Hungarian Chargé d'Affaires was summoned to the ministry to explain the situation.
A few days later, the DIU stated that they could not confirm that our military were at large in Hungary. The soldiers were identified only on 16 June.
The day before, on 19 June, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Ukraine's defenders in Hungary were being held in isolation, and that Budapest was ignoring requests from Ukrainian diplomats. Representatives of the Ukrainian consulate were not allowed to visit the soldiers released from captivity, and they are only allowed to meet with family members in the presence of third parties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that such actions by Budapest call into question the humanitarian motives for the transfer of Ukrainians to Hungary, and that the assurances of the Hungarian authorities about the allegedly free status of Ukrainian defenders are not true.