Russia cancels prisoner exchange planned for Jan. 14

Russia canceled an agreed-upon prisoner swap with Ukraine, which was meant to take place on Jan. 14, reported Ukraine’s Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

Russia and Ukraine had agreed to exchange 40 prisoners of war, Russia’s Human Rights Ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova told Reuters on Jan. 11.

Russia reportedly declined to go through with the exchange “at the last minute,” although no further details were provided.

“It is not difficult to guess the reasons for such a decision,” the Ukrainian authority said.

Earlier on Jan. 14, Russia launched its 10th mass missile attack on Ukraine, targeting Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. The attack killed at least five people and injured almost 60 more, hitting a nine-story apartment building in Dnipro.

The nationwide attack damaged critical infrastructure in several oblasts, according to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. The hits caused emergency blackouts in multiple regions.

At least 3,392 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians remain in Russian captivity as of Jan. 3, according to Alyona Verbytska, the President’s Commissioner for Protecting Defenders Rights. These are the numbers that Russia has officially confirmed, she said.

Ukraine retrieved nearly 1,600 prisoners of war in 2022, according to the Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories.