Last Updated: Jan 04, 2024
Russia and Ukraine exchanged nearly 500 prisoners of war, one of the few areas of cooperation between the two sides. The prisoners include Ukrainian service members detained during fighting at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and on Snake Island in the Black Sea. Ukraine’s coordination headquarters for POW said in a post on Telegram that it was the largest such exchange yesterday since Russian-Ukraine fighting started nearly two years ago. Officials from the United Arab Emirates helped the mediation process between Russia and Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials said that 230 of their service members returned home, while Russia said 248 of its POWs were released. Chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence and head of the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Kyrylo Budanov said that over a significant period, they managed to conduct a very complex exchange.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Telegram that all released Russian servicemen are being provided with the necessary medical and psychological assistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that their fighters are home and they will do everything to return all their people who are currently in Russian captivity.