Home Featured Ukraine, Russia swap hundreds of prisoners in first POW exchange in months
Ukraine, Russia swap hundreds of prisoners in first POW exchange in months

Ukraine, Russia swap hundreds of prisoners in first POW exchange in months

by host

Ukraine and Russia on Wednesday exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war, in the first such swap in almost five months.

Russia released 230 POWs, among them 213 soldiers and sergeants, 11 officers and six civilians, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on social media. In exchange, Ukraine released 248 Russian military personnel in a deal brokered by the United Arab Emirates, Moscow’s defense ministry said.

“We managed to free over 200 of our people from Russian captivity,” Zelenskyy announced. “Warriors and — very importantly — civilians.”

The UAE said in a statement that it was “one of the largest exchanges of captives between the two sides since the beginning of the war” in February 2022.

Kyiv and Moscow have conducted multiple prisoner swaps since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago, but no exchange had been announced for almost five months, with Kyiv accusing Moscow of using POWs as a political weapon.

“There was a long pause in the exchanges, but there was no pause in the negotiations regarding the exchanges,” Zelenskyy said in his address announcing Wednesday’s swap. “We are seizing every opportunity, attempting every mediation format … We will keep working to bring back all of our people.”

Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian parliament’s commissioner for human rights, said this was the 49th prisoner exchange and that 2,828 Ukrainians have been freed since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Source link

You may also like