War prisoners exchanged between Russia and Ukraine

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Moscow: Russia and Ukraine have carried out a surprise prisoner swap involving nearly 300 people, the largest since Moscow’s invasion began nearly seven months ago.

Those released include prisoners of war from countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Morocco, some of whom had been sentenced to death after being captured in Ukraine and accused of being mercenaries.

Russia also freed some 215 Ukrainians, including the five commanders who led a prolonged Ukrainian defence of the southern port city of Mariupol earlier this year.

In exchange, Ukraine sent back 55 Russians and pro-Moscow Ukrainians and Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of a banned pro-Russian party who was facing charges of treason.

The deal, hammered out with the help of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, had been under preparation for some time and involved intense haggling.

 

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