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Ukraine Holds Russia Responsible for Lack of Recent Prisoner Exchanges
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Ukraine Holds Russia Responsible for Lack of Recent Prisoner Exchanges

Ukraine is accusing Russia of being responsible for the absence of prisoner exchanges between the two nations currently engaged in conflict over the previous months.

As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues, Kyiv and Moscow have exchanged prisoners on multiple occasions. However, the frequency of these swaps has decreased in the current year and there have been no exchanges since August.

On Thursday, Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s human rights commissioner, stated that exchanges are not taking place due to Russia’s lack of interest.

According to Lubinets on Telegram, Russia is not willing to return its citizens despite Ukraine’s efforts and wishes to bring back their defenders who are currently in captivity.

According to Lubinets, Ukrainian prisoners of war who are being held by Russia have expressed a desire to be exchanged. However, the Ukrainian official noted that the Russian side is not willing to take them back.

During the night, Russian missiles bombarded the Donetsk region of Ukraine, causing increased worry about potential escalated assaults from Russia as weather conditions improve.

According to Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko, ten individuals, including four young children, were injured in the missile strikes. Additionally, five others were stuck under debris. The statement was made on Thursday.

In Pokrovsk, Klymenko reported that a six-month-old infant was injured along with two boys, ages 13 and 16.

“A shell detonated in the yard of a home where a family of two children resided. The shelling caused severe damage to the roof and walls of the house, and the family was trapped under debris,” he stated.

In this photo provided by Ihor Moroz, Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, rescuers work at the scene of a building destroyed by shelling, in Novohorodivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Nov. 30, 2023.

A building in Novohorodivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, was destroyed by shelling on November 30, 2023. Rescuers, led by Ihor Moroz, Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, were seen working at the scene in a photo provided by Moroz.

The apartment building, nine individual houses, a police station, and multiple cars and garages suffered damage as well.

The Donetsk industrial region, which Russia claims to have annexed last year, has seen some of the fiercest fighting in the two-year conflict.

The Russian defense ministry announced on Wednesday that their troops have gained control of the village known as Khromove, referred to by Russia as Artyomovskoe.

On Wednesday, following his discussion about the heavy fighting in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that he had a meeting with military leaders and government representatives in the southern region which had been severely affected by a recent storm.

He stated that he directed government officials to enhance the amount of repair teams and equipment in order to quickly restore electricity to the public. If needed, personnel from the State Emergency Service and power engineers from regions unaffected by weather issues will be called upon.

The boiler facility in Odesa is currently undergoing repairs due to damage caused by extreme weather.

According to the Ukrainian army’s spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun, the weather in the country is getting better this week, which is enabling Russia to increase their attacks.

He stated that the opposing force has increased their artillery and airstrikes by two times. They have also heightened their ground attacks with infantry and are utilizing armored vehicles.

According to Ukrainian commander Oleksandr Tarnavsky, Russia has noticeably heightened its actions near the town of Avdiivka.

According to a Thursday report by Reuters, Ukraine will not receive its initial delivery of rocket-propelled precision bombs until 2024. These bombs, modified by the United States, can reach targets up to 160 kilometers away.

This report contains data from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters.