Putin claims Russia holding thousands of Ukrainian prisoners of war

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Moscow’s forces have captured more than 6,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war since the beginning of the conflict in February 2022.

The figure is significantly higher than the number of Russian soldiers and officers in Ukrainian captivity, Putin said in St Petersburg on Wednesday at a meeting with representatives of major international news agencies, including dpa.

Putin said Kiev has 1,348 Russians in captivity, while Russia has taken 6,365 Ukrainian prisoners.

In response to a question about the number of Russian casualties in the war, the Russian leader said that neither side was providing any concrete information, but he claimed that Ukraine has recorded significantly higher losses.

Kiev says Russia has lost more than 500,000 soldiers killed and injured during the conflict. In February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky put Ukrainian deaths at 31,000.

The press conference in St Petersburg is the first of its kind since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Putin is currently hosting the 27th edition of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Moscow is attempting to present itself as a stable economic power despite Western sanctions.

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