Ukraine and Russia exchange nearly 300 prisoners. More than 200 Ukrainians and foreign nationals have been detained by Russian troops between Kyiv and Moscow in the largest number of arrests since the start of the war on February 24. The exchange was brokered by Turkey and announced early Thursday morning.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, among the 215 prisoners released by Russia were some who had fought at the Azostall steelworks in Mariupol and eventually returned to Ukraine in May.surrendered along with border guards, police officers and other soldiers. Five British citizens and two Americans are among the foreign fighters released by Russia.
"We have freed 215 of our people from prison, of which 124 are officers. Of those we have freed, 108 are fighters from Azov," said Zelinsky's chief of staff, Andrei Yermak.
In exchange, Ukraine released 55 Russian prisoners, including former Ukrainian parliamentarian Viktor Medvedchuk, a close associate of Putin, who was charged with high treason in Ukraine.They stand accused.
Medvedchuk, who for years played as an agent of Kremlin influence in Ukraine, was arrested in April after escaping house arrest while awaiting trial for treason. "I'm not sad to trade Medvedchuk for real fighters," Zielinski said of the exchange. "He has gone through all investigative procedures in accordance with the law and Ukraine has obtained from him everything it needs to determine the truth".