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HomeHeadlineRussia Accuses Turkey of Violating Prisoner Exchange Agreement as Ukrainian Commanders Return...

Russia Accuses Turkey of Violating Prisoner Exchange Agreement as Ukrainian Commanders Return Home

In a recent development, the Kremlin spokesperson claimed that Turkey’s decision to allow the return of five Azov Battalion commanders to Ukraine was made under pressure, suggesting that it was due to the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

Russia has declared that the return of the five Azov Battalion commanders, who were being held in Turkey, to their home country violated the terms of the prisoner exchange agreement.

The Azov Battalion, which gained symbolic significance in Ukraine for defending the city of Mariupol against Russian forces for three months from the Azovstal Steel Plant, had surrendered to Moscow following an agreement between the two countries.

On September 21, 2022, a prisoner exchange agreement was reached as a result of diplomatic efforts conducted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. It was agreed upon that 200 prisoners of war would be exchanged.

According to the terms of the agreement, the Azov Battalion commanders were supposed to remain in Turkey until the end of the conflict. However, President Zelensky took the commanders back with him upon his return from Turkey.

Zelensky announced via his personal social media account, stating, “We are returning home from Turkey and bringing our heroes with us. Ukrainian soldiers Denys Prokopenko, Svyatoslav Palamar, Serhiy Volynsky, Oleh Khomenko, Denys Shleha. Finally, they will be with their families.”

Reacting to this development, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed that Turkey had violated the prisoner exchange agreement by allowing the commanders to return to Ukraine. Peskov stated, “Nobody informed us about this,” emphasizing that according to the agreement, these individuals were supposed to remain in Turkey.

The Kremlin spokesperson further alleged that Turkey’s decision to allow the commanders’ return was made due to pressure, attributing it to the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

The implications of this incident on the relations between Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey remain to be seen. It adds a new dimension to the ongoing tensions in the region and raises questions about the enforcement of agreements reached during diplomatic negotiations.

Both Russia and Ukraine are currently engaged in efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and this recent development may pose challenges to the delicate balance achieved so far.

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