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Russian State Duma intends to prohibit swap of Azov warriors

The Russian State Duma will consider a decision to ban the swap of Azov warriors for Russians on May 18. Photo: TG-channel "Azov"

The Russian State Duma will consider a decision to ban the swap of Azov warriors for Russians on May 18. Photo: TG-channel "Azov"

On May 18, the Russian State Duma may prohibit the swap of Ukrainian defenders from the Azov regiment for prisoners from the Russian army. On May 26, the Supreme Court of Russia, at the request of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, will consider the recognition of Azov as a terrorist organization and a ban on its activities in the country. This is reported by the Russian edition of RIA Novosti.

The initiator of the decision to ban the exchange of Azov was the Russian MP Anatoly Wasserman, who fled Ukraine in 2016. During his speech, he stressed that this exchange would be the first step towards the release of Ukrainian soldiers "through deception." Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin instructed the Defense Committee to prepare an appropriate protocol instruction. He emphasized that "Nazi criminals should not be exchanged, we must do everything to ensure that they are brought to justice."

Chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky during the meeting proposed to apply the death penalty to "war criminals from Azov". According to the politician, such punishment for "animals in human form" should be allowed.

The Ukrainian side stated that the declaration of representatives of the State Duma of Russia is aimed at propaganda within Russia.

"The statement of representatives of the State Duma of Russia about their intention to block the exchange of military personnel of the Azov regiment is aimed at internal propaganda. The negotiation process on the exchange of the Ukrainian military and their rescue continues," said Anna Malyar, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

Context. On the night of Tuesday, May 17, the evacuation of the defenders of Azovstal began. Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reported that an exchange procedure will be carried out for the rapid return of the defenders of Mariupol. The Russian side calls the Ukrainian military prisoners, and what happened — a surrender.

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