Nearly 500 prisoners of war exchanged between Russia and Ukraine

248 servicemen have been returned to Russia from Ukrainian captivity, the Defense Ministry has said. The Ukrainian side has returned 230 servicemen.

The Russian Defense Ministry published a video where the servicemen thanked for the exchange and said that “the mood is fire”, after the exchange they will be sent to rehabilitation.

“By airplanes of military transport aviation of the Russian Air Force, the servicemen will be delivered for treatment and rehabilitation in medical institutions of the Russian Defense Ministry”, the ministry said in a statement.

Among the Ukrainians who returned home are servicemen from different departments, including military medics.

“Soldiers, sergeants, officers. Warriors of the Armed forces, the National guard, the Navy, border guards. Part of the defenders defended Mariupol and Azovstal”, – wrote at himself in Telegram Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

The exchange became possible after a “complex negotiation process” mediated by the UAE, the Russian Defense Ministry noted. The UAE Foreign Ministry said on its website that the success was due to “close friendly relations with both Russian Federation and Ukraine”, the ministry said it was ready to continue to participate in the conflict resolution.

It was the 49th and largest exchange, the Ukrainian coordination headquarters for the treatment of prisoners of war said. Before that, the procedure took place in August 2023. Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets did not rule out that another exchange could take place in the coming weeks, the Russian side did not comment on this information. According to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russian side went for such a large exchange after several reports of mistreatment of Ukrainian prisoners. This way Russia wants to show that it adheres to legal and humanitarian norms.

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