The UAE mediated the release of almost 250 Russian servicemen
The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday announced the release of 248 of its service members from Ukrainian captivity. Ukraine said that 230 of its PoWs have been released in return.
The handing back of captured personnel was the result of a “complex negotiation process” facilitated by the “humanitarian mediation” of the United Arab Emirates, the Russian military said.
The freed captives are being provided with medical and psychological assistance, and will be transported home by the Russian Aerospace Forces, for treatment and rehabilitation in military medical facilities.
Shortly after the Russian announcement, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky posted on his Telegram channel that “more than 200” Ukrainian servicemen have been set free as well. He later said the exact number was 230.
Neither side mentioned the other’s prisoners in their statements.
Tuesday’s exchange was reportedly the largest of the entire conflict so far. The last public PoW swap was in early August 2023, and involved 22 soldiers from each side. In an early December interview with AP, Zelensky said that small, local swaps continued to take place, claiming that Kiev had managed to retrieve about 100 personnel in this fashion.
January 03, 2024 at 09:40PM