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Can Ukraine help with the release of Belarusian political prisoners?

As you know, on June 28, 10 Ukrainians were released, five of whom were held in Belarusian prisons. Among them, for example, Mykola Shvets, who was accused of sabotage against the Russian A-50 aircraft at the airfield in Machulyshchi near Minsk in early 2023.

Some Belarusian opposition politicians, notably Zenon Pozniak, have expressed a desire to exchange Belarusian political prisoners for Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine, perhaps for Belarusians who fought under contract in the Russian army., a wider practice? Kyiv did not respond to this proposal, but to what extent is such a practice possible, or will Ukraine liberate only its own citizens?

Our expert, director of the Ukrainian Institute of World Politics Yevhen Magda answered this question on Radio Svoboda.

"I believe that Ukraine should first of all release two categories of Belarusians who are directly involved in the Ukrainian-Russian war: these are two Kalinov fighters, with the callsigns Klish and Trombly, who have been in Russian captivity for 2 years, and rail partisans who blew up Belarusian railway lines, damaged relay cabinets, slowing down the movement of military echelons. These two categories must be released first of all."

We suggest you read Yevgeny's full interview with host Yuriy Drakakhrust in the "Peak of Freedom" program.


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