Hungary Announced That Ukrainian PoW to Be Transferred to Budapest from Russia

Friday, 9 June 2023

Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, Zsolt Semjén, has confirmed the information about the transfer of 11 Ukrainian prisoners of war of Hungarian origin from Russia to Hungary, as previously announced by the Russian Orthodox Church.

According to the Hungarian outlet ATV, the Russian Orthodox Church issued a statement stating that on June 8, "as part of inter-church cooperation at the request of the Hungarian side, a group of Ukrainian prisoners of war of Transcarpathian origin who took part in combat actions was transferred to Hungary."

As the Russian Orthodox Church stated, the agreement on the transfer of prisoners of war involved Metropolitan Anthony Volokolamsky, chairman of the External Church Relations Department, and Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, advisor to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The outlet "RBC-Ukraine," citing sources, previously reported that the Russian Orthodox Church planned to transfer some of the Ukrainian captives to Hungary, and this decision was not coordinated with Ukraine. One of the intermediaries was supposed to be the charitable organisation Maltese Aid Service of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

According to ATV, the transfer of the prisoners was coordinated by Zsolt Semjén, the Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister for Church Affairs.

On Friday, Semjén refused to provide any details in a comment to the outlet, citing "the interests of the case and the people." However, he stated that it was a gesture by the Russian Orthodox Church towards Hungary and that these individuals "owe their freedom to it."

"This is my human and patriotic duty," Semjén said about coordinating the transportation of the 11 prisoners of war to Hungary.

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