Russia Holds Over 1700 Documented Ukrainian POWs, Ukraine Captured at Least 350
About 300 POWs of each side have been returned so far
Since I have lately written quite a bit about casualties in the Russian-Ukrainian war I should write a little bit on POWs.
Various estimates for Ukrainian POWs in Russian hands are being thrown around. Donetsk Republic at one point claimed to hold 3000. Various commentators have proposed various other figures.
However, the number of documented and verified Ukrainian POWs is 1742.
It is possible that the number is higher, but this is how many can be proven. The names, and the images of captives are available on Russian Telegram.
There have also been 12 prisoner exchanges so far which have seen nearly 300 POWs returned to Ukraine and presumably an equal number of Russian POWs returned to Russia. (Albeit I have seen claims that Russia received about 100 prisoners fewer because they were also trading prisoners for remains of their dead.)
I do not know if these 300 Ukrainians would have been from the 1742 POWs known to have been taken, or if they were returned before they were counted among them.
In other words, to be entirely precise we would have to say Russia at a minimum captured between 1700 and 2000 POWs and still holds between 1400 and 1700.
Over 1000 of the captured are from the 36th Marine Infantry Brigade that was encircled in Mariupol.
Russia also lost at least 350 POWs captured. (Ukraine claims 700 but you know how I feel about claims.)
On April 8 Russia publicized that a prisoner exchange that would see 251 Russian servicemen exchanged for 251 Ukrainian ones had fallen through.
This means that at this moment there were still at least 251 Russian servicemen in Ukrainian hands. (Likely more.)
However, by that date there had already been four prisoner exchanges that saw the return of 101 Ukrainian servicemen. Presumably 101 Russian servicemen traveled in the other direction.
This would give a total of 352 Russian servicemen that had fallen into Ukrainian hands. With up to 300 who have already been returned.
Early on in the war, the two sides were taking prisoners at a much more even rate.
Since the change in the Russian approach, this has changed.
Russian POWs have become rare, while Ukrainian POWs have multiplied especially due to Mariupol
Ukraine will likely become much more reluctant to trade away its rare Russian POWs.
Getting back a few hundred POWs back is relatively less valuable to Ukraine which is conscripting en masse, but much more so to Russia which Kremlin has precluded from tapping into its conscript manpower.