KYIV, UKRAINE, Jan 29 — Ukraine continues to negotiate the exchange of prisoners of war with Russia. It expects to take place despite Russia’s statements after the downing of the IL-76 aircraft that “the exchange is out of the question.” This was reported to Suspilne by the HUR (Main Directorate of Intelligence) spokesman, Andrii Yusov.

“We don’t have any information that would tell us anything significant right now, but new data is emerging that helps us investigate further. For now, I can only say this. The Coordination Headquarters has confirmed that the lists provided by Russia have been verified; they are indeed Ukrainian prisoners,” he said.

The HUR representative noted that these are not the lists published by Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan.

“In general, Russian official negotiators, referring to those lists, confirmed that this is the case, that these people are being verified. For our part, we confirm that these are Ukrainian prisoners who were submitted for exchange. Negotiations are underway, we expect the exchange,” Yusov said.

Earlier, the head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, said that there is currently no reliable and comprehensive information about who might have actually been on board the Russian military transport plane IL-76, which crashed in Russia on January 24.

The Coordination Center also confirmed that 65 prisoners from the list published in Russia were to be exchanged.

What to know about the IL-76 crash in Russia

On January 24, an Il-76 military transport plane crashed in the Korochansky district of the Belgorod region of Russia. The Russian Defense Ministry said that there were 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war on board, who were being transported for an exchange.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine did not confirm that the plane was shot down by the Ukrainian Defense Forces, as they are “still investigating the information.”

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukraine’s Defense Ministry confirmed that a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine was planned for January 24.

Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said he would appeal to the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross regarding the downing of the Il-76 military plane in Russia and the Russian side’s claims that there were Ukrainian prisoners of war on the plane.

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