“First real exchange” of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: for the first time, Moscow has released as many soldiers as Kiev authorities

The AFP reports that Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Versiuk announced on Facebook on Thursday that the Russians and Ukrainians had carried out the “first real transfer” of prisoners.

Irina Versiuk Photo: Twitter Capture

“In exchange for the ten captured occupiers, we have rescued ten soldiers,” he wrote, adding that this was “the first real exchange of prisoners of war” with Russia since the beginning of its offensive in Ukraine, AFP reports.

In addition, eleven Russian civilian sailors, survivors of a shipwreck in the Black Sea near Odessa, were sent to Russia in exchange for the return of 19 Russian-captured civilian sailors to Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said two exchanges had already been arranged since the start of the Russian invasion, without specifying their dates or the number of detainees in question.

Two days ago, the Kremlin’s human rights representative, Tatiana Moskalkova, referred to the transfer of nine Russian prisoners in Ukraine against Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of the Ukrainian city (southeastern) Melitopol.

Veresciuk confirmed on Wednesday the transfer, which targeted the mayor of Melitopol, but said no one else.

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