Ukraine has introduced that 215 Ukrainian and international residents have been launched by Russia in a prisoner change, together with fighters who led the defence of Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks that turned an icon of Ukrainian resistance.

Russia acquired 55 prisoners together with Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and ally of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin accused of excessive treason, the Ukrainian chief, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, stated in his each day handle.

Medvedchuk was arrested in April, after escaping home arrest on treason expenses days after the Russian invasion. At the time, Zelenskiy recommended exchanging him for Ukrainian prisoners of conflict held by Russia however the Kremlin rejected the offer.

In May, Azov fighters surrendered after a long siege of the steelworks and have been transferred to Russian-held territory.

The swap is the largest change between the warring sides because the begin of Russia’s invasion in February.

Surrendered servicemen of Ukraine’s national battalion Azov being transferred to Yelenovka in Mariupol in May
Surrendered servicemen of Ukraine’s nationwide battalion Azov being transferred to Yelenovka in Mariupol in May. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

“We have managed to liberate 215 people,” the Ukrainian presidency’s chief of workers, Andriy Yermak, introduced on tv.

Zelenskiy stated 5 navy commanders together with leaders of the defence of Azovstal have been taken to Turkey as a part of an operation agreed with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The launched prisoners would stay in Turkey “in total security and in comfortable conditions” till the tip of the conflict, he added. There was no remark from Moscow.

Ten prisoners of conflict together with 5 Britons and two Americans, who have been transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia earlier on Wednesday, were part of the swap deal, Zelenskiy stated.

On Tuesday, Erdogan advised US tv that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to swap 200 prisoners in one of many largest exchanges of the seven-month-old conflict.

Mariupol, a port metropolis on the Sea of Azov in south-eastern Ukraine, withstood weeks of relentless Russian bombardment, with resistance concentrated in a dense community of underground tunnels at its Azovstal metal plant.

Ukrainian forces’ longstanding refusal to give up regardless of shortages of ammunition and provides earned them reward throughout the nation for their heroism in defying overwhelming odds in opposition to Russia’s superior numbers and firepower.

With Agence France-Presse

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