Ukraine and Russia have conducted another large exchange of prisoners, with 140 Ukrainians returning home on Dec. 31, Andriy Yermak, the President’s Chief of Staff, reported on Telegram on Dec. 31.
Among those returned by Ukraine are the defenders of Mariupol, Zmiinyy Island, territorial defense volunteers from Slavutych (fathers and sons who were held captive together), and soldiers from the Bakhmut section of front.
Wounded soldiers were also returned. Out of 140 Ukrainians (132 men and eight women), there were 22 officers and 118 sergeants and soldiers, incuding:
· 82 soldiers of the Armed Forces;
· 15 from the Territorial Defense;
· 22 from the National Guard;
· 11 from the Naval Forces;
· 10 from the State Border Service.
“In the New Year, we’re not only repelling the enemy’s missile attacks, but also bringing back our people,” Yermak said.
“While they shoot, we fight back, respond and return. We will return everyone. It won’t be otherwise.”
As of Dec. 30, about 3,400 Ukrainian soldiers are in captivity in the Russian Federation, and another 15,000 people are missing.
According to the Coordinating Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1,596 people — military and civilian — have been freed from Russian captivity since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.