Russian-Ukrainian war prisoners exchange: 45 Ukrainian Azov fighters for 3 Russian 3 pilots


On Saturday Ukraine received 45 of the Azov fighters captured during the battle for Mariupol, and Russia said Kiev had released three of its pilots, but neither side provided details of what appeared to be a prisoner exchange.

Andriy Yermak, director of the office of Ukrainian President, said that among the Ukrainian prisoners who were released were 42 men and 3 women from the Azov battalion.

Many Ukrainians consider Azov fighters as “Heroes”, on the other hand Russians consider them as “Villains” with they adapt far-right and Nazi ideology, as fighting them was one of the main excuses Putin gave in order to justify his war on Ukraine.

Azov fighters fought most of the fighting in an unsuccessful battle to defend the coastal city of Mariupol.

Yermak wrote on Telegram, “Excellent news on this sunny day… We’re returning 45 of our people to their homeland”.

He didn’t mention in the post the release of Russian pilots.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that three pilots had been returned and were receiving medical and psychological assistance.

“As a result of a difficult negotiation process, three Russian pilots of the Russian Air Force who were in danger of dying in captivity were returned from the territory controlled by Kiev,” the statement said.

The statement did not mention anything about the 45 Ukrainian prisoners of war.

There was no news in the Russian media about the release of other Russian prisoners.

Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Agency, which is responsible for coordinating prisoner exchanges with Russia, didn’t respond to a request for more details.

Moscow and Kiev have agreed on a number of prisoner exchanges since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia says it is carrying out a “special military operation” against a threat emanating from Kiev’s relations with the West, but Ukraine and its Western allies say what it is doing is a war without provocation to grab territory.

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