Ukraine repatriates three POWs from Russia via Hungary - Kyiv

Kyiv repatriated three Ukrainian prisoners of war from Hungary after a group of POWs was transferred there from Russia without coordination with Kyiv, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Hungary, which under Prime Minister Viktor Orban has forged strong political and economic ties with Moscow, said on June 9 that Budapest had received a group of 11 Ukrainian prisoners of war from Russia.

"The Embassy of Ukraine in Budapest managed to bring back three Ukrainian prisoners of war from Hungary," Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko wrote on his Facebook page.

Nikolenko said they were already back on Ukrainian soil and were receiving the support they needed.

He said Ukrainian diplomats and other relevant Ukrainian authorities were working to try to bring back the remaining prisoners of war.

Ukraine said on Monday that Hungary has been ignoring its requests for contact with the prisoners of war. It has cast the transfer of the POWs to Hungary as a publicity stunt by Orban.

Hungarian and international media quoted Orban's chief-of-staff Gergely Gulyas as saying the soldiers arrived in Hungary of "their own free will" and that Kyiv was informed after their transfer.