Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have returned home following a prisoner swap, officials on both sides said Saturday.
Top Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians were freed.
He said the released POWs include troops who held out in Mariupol during Moscow’s monthslong siege that reduced the southern port city to ruins, as well as guerrilla fighters from the Kherson region and snipers captured during the ongoing fierce battles for the eastern city of Bakhmut.
Russian defense officials, meanwhile, announced that 63 Russian troops had returned from Ukraine following the swap, including some “special category” prisoners whose release was secured following mediation by the United Arab Emirates.
A statement issued Saturday by the Russian Defense Ministry did not provide details about these “special category” captives.
At least three civilians have been killed in Ukraine over the past 24 hours as Russian forces struck nine regions in the country’s south, north and east, according to reports on Ukrainian TV by regional governors on Saturday morning.
Two people were killed, and 14 others wounded in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region by Russian shelling and missile strikes, local Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a Telegram update on Saturday morning.
Source: VOA NEWS