[World Now] Russia-Ukraine exchange 260 prisoners of war

In the darkness, Ukrainian soldiers walk out, supporting their comrades who cannot walk alone.

Some soldiers come out on a stretcher.

Another soldier knelt down and kissed the soil of Ukraine.

Ten foreign volunteers caught fighting on the side of Ukraine have entered Saudi Arabia and are waiting to return to their home countries with bright faces.

Both sides managed to exchange more than 260 prisoners of war, even as the war intensified due to Ukraine’s fierce counter-attack and the fact that Russia was moving reserve forces.

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced that 215 Ukrainians and foreigners had been released in exchange for prisoners of war.

A source close to the office of the President of Ukraine told RBC Russian that “Ukraine returned 215 prisoners of war and transferred 50 to the Russian side.”

Among the soldiers released from Ukraine were 108 regiment members, including two commanders of the “Azou Regiment”, the source said.

The Azou Regiment is a military organization with its roots in the far-right nationalist militia that opposed the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Hundreds of people surrendered to the Russian army at the end of May after resisting to the end at the iron works in the southern port city of Mariupol after the start of the war in Ukraine at the end of February.

In addition, 10 foreign volunteers captured fighting on the Ukrainian side were also released from this prisoner exchange, including five British, two Americans, and one Moroccan, Swedish, and Croatian.

Britons Sean Finner and Aiden Aslin, who were arrested in Mariupol in southern Ukraine in April and sentenced to death by a pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) court on mercenary charges, were also released.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, which has been involved in the exchange of prisoners of war, said in a statement the previous day that “10 foreign prisoners of war who had been held in Russia were released and returned to Saudi Arabia through the mediation of Prince the Crown Mohammed bin Salman.” I did it.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkiye described the conclusion of the prisoner exchange talks he had mediated as “an important step towards peace”.

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