Russia, Ukraine swap 100 prisoners each

Russia, Ukraine swap 100 prisoners each

KYIV (Reuters): Russia and Ukraine have exchanged 100 prisoners of war from each side in the nearly two-year-old war, with the United Arab Emirates acting as an intermediary, both countries said on Thursday.

Russia’s Defense Ministry, in a post on the Telegram messaging app, provided few details of the exchange, but said returning soldiers would undergo medical examinations in Moscow.

It noted the UAE’s “humanitarian mediation,” as did the Ukrainian body overseeing exchanges of POWs.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, writing on Telegram, said the majority of those brought home had taken part in the three-month defense of the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eventually captured by Russian forces in May 2022.

Pictures alongside the post showed servicemen draped in the blue and yellow national flag, embracing and speaking on mobile telephones.

Ukraine’s Coordinating Committee on Dealing with Prisoners of War said 28 of the returning servicemen were injured or ill.

It said 84 had taken part in the defense of Mariupol, with the others serving in other parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, partly occupied by Russian forces.