Ukraine and Russia conducted their first prisoner exchange in 2023 on Jan. 8, with another 50 Ukrainian soldiers returning from Russian captivity, the head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak said on Telegram.
Thirty-three officers and 17 privates and sergeants returned home, including soldiers from the army (25), Territorial Defense (5), the National Guard (13), the State Border Guard Service (4), the navy (3) and the Special Operations Forces. The oldest PoW was 54 years old, and the youngest was 19.
"We are returning people who were captured at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, as well as defenders of Mariupol, guys from the Donetsk part of the front, from near Bakhmut, as well as ones from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kherson and other oblasts where there was fighting," said Yermak.
He said this would not be the last swap and the task of Ukraine is to return all of its defenders. The previous exchange took place on Dec. 31, 2022 when 140 Ukrainians returned from captivity.
As of Dec. 30, about 3,400 Ukrainian servicemen are in Russian captivity, and another 15,000 people are missing. According to the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, since the beginning of the full-scale war, Ukraine has already returned 1,646 service members and civilians from Russian captivity.