15 August 2022,   19:45
Budanov hints that some of the Azovstal defenders could soon return home

Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, who is responsible for coordinating the exchange of the Ukrainian soldiers who defended Azovstal, said that he hopes to secure the release of a “significant number” of Ukrainian prisoners of war “in the very near future”, writes pravda.com.ua.

“We are very clear on the fate of almost all [of the Ukrainian prisoners of war - ed.]. We are working on freeing them from captivity. I hope that many of them will be able to reunite with their loved ones at home in the very near future…

We hope to secure the release of a fairly significant number of our prisoners of war in the very near future. The media will be informed as soon as it happens.

It is still too early to call the date when the prisoner swap might take place. We are talking about an exchange of prisoners that will have many phases. It won’t be one single exchange. There will be several phases. Small exchanges are already happening frequently.

The most difficult negotiations concern the leaders of the Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal. It’s a lot easier with regard to the rank and file. Obviously, it’s a lot more difficult when it comes to unit commanders”, - said Budanov.