More than 100 Ukrainian prisoners of war have been released and returned home in an Easter exchange, according to a senior Ukrainian presidential official. The exchange was carried out on the day of Orthodox Easter and involved Ukrainian and Russian forces. This is not the first exchange to take place between the two nations, as they have been carrying out regular prisoner exchanges during Moscow’s invasion, which is now in its 14th month. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak confirmed the news on the Telegram messaging app, stating that the exchange had taken place in several stages over the past few days. The prisoners who were released included military personnel, border guards, national guard members, sailors, and employees of the state border guard.
The founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was seen in a video posted on Telegram saying, “Prepare all of them, feed and water them, check the wounded”. An armed Wagner soldier was also seen warning the prisoners of war not to fall back into their hands before they were ordered into a truck. Some of the prisoners were seen loading packs of water bottles as they made their way inline along a muddy road. Some of the prisoners were limping, while others were being carried on stretchers by their comrades. A man standing on a tank held a white flag as the prisoners made their way back home. It was not clear how many Russians were sent back the other way.
This is the second large prisoner swap to take place in the past week. On Monday, Russia and Ukraine carried out a major prisoner swap with 106 Russian prisoners of war being freed in exchange for 100 Ukrainians. Ukraine also announced on Friday that it had retrieved the bodies of 82 of its soldiers from Russian-controlled territory. These developments come amidst ongoing tensions between the two nations, which have been at odds since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
The exchange of prisoners is seen as a positive step towards peace and reconciliation between the two nations. It is hoped that this will lead to further negotiations and a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The release of prisoners is a key demand of both sides, and this exchange is seen as a positive development in the ongoing conflict.
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been ongoing since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. The conflict has since escalated into a full-blown war, with both sides accusing the other of aggression and human rights violations. The war has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and has caused widespread displacement of civilians. The international community has called for an end to the conflict and for both sides to come to the negotiating table to find a peaceful resolution.
In conclusion, the Easter exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia is a positive step towards peace and reconciliation between the two nations. The exchange is seen as a positive development in the ongoing conflict and is hoped to lead to further negotiations and a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The release of prisoners is a key demand of both sides, and this exchange is seen as a step in the right direction. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has caused widespread suffering and displacement, and it is hoped that both sides will come to the negotiating table to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.