Largest prisoner exchange

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman played direct role in swap agreementtor

KIEV   -   Ukraine and Russia Thursday carried out their largest prison­er exchange since the start of the conflict on Feb. 24, the Coordinat­ing Headquarters for the Treatment of Pris­oners of War said.

As a result, 215 Ukrainians, including 124 officers, returned home, the agency said. Among those freed are servicemen from the Azov regiment which fought for Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant, as well as troops from the Ukrainian navy, the State Security Service, the State Customs Ser­vice and other agencies.

Besides, two civil­ians were released un­der the swap. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said that ten foreign citi zens were freed from Rus­sian captivity under the exchange. Ukraine and Russia conducted their first prisoner exchange on March 24.

The foreigners re­leased include five Brit­ons, two Americans, a Croatian, a Swedish and a Moroccan who were captured fighting for Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tur­key and Saudi Ara­bia helped to reach the swap agreement. Rus­sia also confirmed its fifty five servicemen freed in prisoner swap with Ukraine.

Reportedly, Saudi Arabia brokered pris­oners exchange deal between Russia and Ukraine paving the way for release of three hun­dred prisoners of war. Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman had been in di­rect contact with the Kremlin and Ukraine as part of the mediation efforts for the release of the prisoners.

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