Ukraine says 19 prisoners returned from Russian captivity

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Ukraine said Thursday it had received 19 military personnel and civilians captured by Russia, in the latest prisoner swap after two months of fighting.

“Today we are returning home 19 people, including 10 military personnel, two of whom are officers, and nine civilians,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement on social media.

She did not give details of the exchange, including where or when the swap occurred or whether Ukraine returned detainees to Moscow.

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“This time, there are wounded among the released, and this is very important. After all, now they will be able to receive full treatment and undergo rehabilitation,” Vereshchuk added.

The exchange is the latest that Ukraine says it has conducted with the Russian side since Moscow’s launched its invasion on February 24.

There was no confirmation from Moscow of the swap or how many Russian prisoners had been exchanged.

Vereshchuk said the swap was made possible by the personal involvement of President Volodymyr Zelenksyy.

It comes as both sides have shown videos of high-profile detainees.

Ukraine earlier this week aired video showing Viktor Medvedchuk, a detained pro-Russia tycoon and ally of President Vladimir Putin, saying he wanted to be exchanged for civilians and troops from the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Russia, at the same time, broadcast footage of a British national and another man it identified as a UK citizen captured fighting for Ukraine demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiate their release.

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