War in Ukraine: Ukraine and Russia exchange prisoners

After nearly seven months of war, Ukraine and Russia have announced a major prisoner swap.

War in Ukraine: Ukraine and Russia exchange prisoners

After nearly seven months of war, Ukraine and Russia have announced a major prisoner swap. 205 Ukrainians returned from Russian captivity, according to the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak. The Moscow-controlled separatists in eastern Ukraine released ten foreigners who were flown to Riyadh after mediation by Saudi Arabia.

According to Yermak, Ukraine released 55 Russian soldiers who had been captured in the offensive in the Kharkiv region in early September. Accordingly, the arrested pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, a confidant of President Vladimir Putin, was also allowed to leave the country.

According to Yermak, the Ukrainian returnees included the commanders of the defense of Mariupol, who had been holed up in the Azovstal steel works and resisted the Russian conquerors until mid-May. "Our heroes are free," he wrote on Telegram.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the exchange was mediated by Turkey, the state news agency Anadolu reported on Wednesday evening. Erdogan called the agreement an "important step" towards ending the war in Ukraine.

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