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MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Russia will do its utmost to defend the interests of its citizens captured in Ukraine, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
The presidential spokesman refused to answer precisely if plans were considered to carry out a prisoner swap with Ukraine. "I can only say that certainly all the necessary steps to defend legal interests of Russian citizens are being considered," he stressed.
Earlier, the Russian BBC service reported, quoting the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces 93rd separate mechanized brigade, that Russian "serviceman" Viktor Ageev, who, allegedly, was conscripted in the Altay Region and served under contract, had been captured in the Lugansk region.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has earlier refuted the BBC reports that Ageev was a Russian serviceman. The ministry said Ageev has never served in Russia’s Armed Forces under contract. He conducted compulsory military service in the Russian Armed Forces, which he left in accordance with the established procedure in May 2016. The ministry stressed that information that Ageev rejoined the Russian Armed Forces under contract "was made up by Ukrainian agitators.".