Illustration photo – Russian soldiers who became part of a prisoner exchange with Ukraine, November 4, 2022.
Moscow/Kyiv – 90 Russian soldiers have returned home from Ukrainian captivity, it was announced today Russian Ministry of Defense. The head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Jermak, subsequently stated that 130 Ukrainian men and women returned from Russian captivity today.
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“Another exchange of prisoners. We managed to return home 130 of our people – 126 defenders of the homeland and four defenders. They are soldiers, members of the National Guard, border guards and rescuers,” Jermak wrote in a telegram. According to him, among the returnees are 87 defenders of Mariupol, 71 of whom defended the last bastion of resistance in this city in southeastern Ukraine, the Azovstal steel plant. Another 35 freed were captured near Bakhmut and Soledar in the Donbas in the east of the country. Most of the released prisoners have serious injuries, Jermak said, recalling President Volodymyr Zelensky's words that the state must take care of each of these heroes.
“On March 7, as a result of negotiations, 90 Russian soldiers who were in mortal danger in captivity returned from the territory controlled by the Kyiv regime,” the Russian ministry said.
So far, none of the Russian officials have commented on the footage from social networks apparently depicting the shooting of an unarmed Ukrainian prisoner by Russian soldiers.
Military transport planes will transport Russian soldiers released by the Ukrainians to Moscow for treatment and rehabilitation at Ministry of Defense facilities. “All those freed are receiving the necessary medical and psychological help,” the ministry assured, according to the TASS agency.
The Kommersant newspaper, citing representatives of pro-Russian separatists from eastern Ukraine, wrote that out of 90 soldiers released from captivity by the Ukrainians, 34 belong to to Luhansk separatist militias fighting alongside Russian forces. According to TASS, Luhansk ombudsman Viktorija Serďuková confirmed the release of these 34 prisoners.
In mid-February, Ukraine and Russia exchanged a total of 202 more prisoners of war. 100 Ukrainian soldiers and one civilian went home from Russian captivity. 101 liberated Russian soldiers went to Russia. Among the liberated Ukrainians were 94 defenders of Mariupol, 63 of whom fought in the Azovstal steelworks there, which fell into Russian hands in May of last year. since the beginning of the war last February, 1,993 Ukrainian men and women have already been freed.