Russia, Ukraine each return 90 prisoners of war: Russian defense ministry

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Russia and Ukraine have each returned 90 prisoners of war in a swap, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry, in a post on the Telegram messaging app, said the Russian prisoners were able to return home with the help of the United Arab Emirates acting as an intermediary.

“As a result of negotiations, 90 Russian prisoners of war who risked death in captivity are being returned from areas under Kyiv’s control,” the ministry said. “In exchange, 90 prisoners from the Ukrainian armed forces were handed over.”

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It said the Russian prisoners were able to return home “with the United Arab Emirates participating as an intermediary in a humanitarian capacity”.

The UAE said it succeeded in mediating an exchange of 180 prisoners of war between Russia and Ukraine, the state news agency WAM said on Tuesday.

The Emirati foreign ministry said the mediation succeded because the UAE leveraged “its distinct ties and partnership with both sides, including as a reliable mediator among both parties,” WAM said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the return of 90 prisoners with the UAE acting as an intermediary.

The freed Russian prisoners were being flown to Moscow, where they would undergo medical checks, the ministry said.

Russia and Ukraine have carried out periodic exchanges of prisoners in their 28-month-old conflict.

The most recent exchange took place on May 31, when each side handed over 75 prisoners of war, also with the UAE acting as an intermediary. That was the first exchange in nearly four months.

With Reuters

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