Moscow, Kiev carry out first prisoner swap this year
The Russian ministry of defense said that the troops will be transported to Moscow for medical attention.
Russia and Ukraine announced on Sunday the release of 100 soldiers, 50 Russian and 50 Ukrainian, marking the first prisoner swap between Moscow and Kiev this year.
According to the Russian ministry of defense, the swap was the result of talks between the two sides.
The freed soldiers were transported to Russian territories and to be later taken to Moscow to receive medical attention in institutions belonging to the MoD.
“On January 8, as a result of the negotiating process, 50 Russian soldiers were returned from territories controlled by the Kiev regime, which were in mortal danger in captivity,” the statement said, adding that, "all released [soldiers] are receiving necessary medical and psychological assistance,” it added.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian president's chief of staff, Andrii Yermak, said that Russia released 50 Ukrainian soldiers, 33 of whom are officers and 17 belonging to other military divisions.
Yermak said that the soldiers were captured in Chernobyl NPP, Mariupol, Bakhmut, Kiev, Chernihiv, Kherson, in addition to other regions.
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As a result of Russia’s open diplomacy, Kiev and Moscow have exchanged hundreds of detained soldiers in many rounds of prisoner swaps in recent months.
On December 31, Russia and Ukraine announced the release of more than 200 detained soldiers, the latest prisoner swap between the two sides in the 10-month war.
Russia's Defense Ministry reported Ukraine freed 82 Russian soldiers, while Ukraine's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Russia released over 140 Ukrainian service personnel.
It is worth noting that a prisoner swap between American Basketball celebrity Britney Griner and Russian businessman Viktor Bout who was serving a 25-year sentence in the US over alleged arms dealings was concluded last month.
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