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Ukraine exchanges 10 Russian prisoners of war for 10 of their own

Thursday, 24 March 2022, 15:37
Ukraine exchanges 10 Russian prisoners of war for 10 of their own

DENIS KARLOVSKYY - THURSDAY, 24 MARCH 2022, 16:37

Ukrainian authorities have carried out a ten-for-ten exchange of prisoners of war with a Russian representative.

Source: Iryna Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister

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According to Vereshchuk: "The first complete exchange of prisoners of war took place today on the orders of President Zelenskyy. In exchange for 10 captured occupiers, we received 10 of our soldiers.

Also today, we sent 11 civilian Russian sailors back to the Russians, whom we rescued from a ship that was sunk near Odesa. As a result of this exchange, 19 Ukrainian civilian sailors from the rescue vessel "Sapfir" [Sapphire], who were seized by the occupiers while trying to take our servicemen from Snake Island, are returning home."

Details: The minister added that the "Sapfir" rescue ship will be brought to a Turkish port and returned to Ukraine.

Background:

  • On the eve of the exchange, 23 March, Russian authorities announced a prisoner exchange with Ukraine, but Vereshchuk categorically denied the Russian claims. At the same time, Vereshchuk said that the Ukrainian authorities had hopes for a possible success in the exchange of Russian POWs for Ukrainian border guards from Snake Island.
  • Russia claimed that they were holding around 500 Ukrainian prisoners of war.
  • Ukrainian authorities also exchanged 9 Russian conscripts for the captured mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, who was kidnapped on 11 March.
  • On 1 March, local authorities in the Sumy Region exchanged a Russian commander for five Ukrainian fighters from the Territorial Defence Forces.
  • On 26 February, the civilian rescue vessel "Sapfir" attempted to discover the fate of the Snake Island defenders as part of a humanitarian mission, but the vessel was seized by Russian occupiers. The vessel, together with the captured sailors, was taken to occupied Sevastopol.

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