55 soldiers return to Russia after prisoner exchange with Ukraine

55 soldiers return to Russia after prisoner exchange with Ukraine

55 Russian soldiers have returned to the country after the largest exchange of prisoners with Ukraine since the offensive began in the former Soviet republic, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“All military personnel arrived on the territory of the Russian Federation by military aircraft and were taken to the ministry’s medical facilities,” the government statement said.

One of eastern Ukraine’s proRussian separatist leaders confirmed on Thursday that a former Ukrainian MP close to Russian President Vladimir Putin had been released in a prisoner exchange between Kyiv and Moscow.

“Viktor Medvedchuk has been released,” Denis Pushilin told Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency.

Medvedchuk was arrested by the Ukrainian special service in midApril. The former deputy was charged with high treason.

The Russian military involved in the exchange “was able to get in touch with their loved ones,” the Russian ministry said, before indicating that those released are receiving “necessary psychological and medical assistance.”

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian government announced a major prisoner swap with Moscow involving 215 Ukrainian military prisoners, including defense commanders at the Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol.

On Thursday, the Russian army again accused the Ukrainian government of “continuing with its provocations in order to create a risk of disaster”. […] at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.

“On Wednesday, Ukrainian artillery fired 13 howitzers at the town of Energodar (where the power plant is located) and the land next to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, “the radiological situation” at the site is “normal”.

Russia and Ukraine have been exchanging allegations of attacks on the Zaporizhia plant and its surroundings for several months.


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