Ukraine brings home another 20 of its soldiers from Russian captivity

13 October 2022, 07:02 PM
The defenders of Ukraine were released on October 13 (Photo:Andriy Yermak / Twitter)

The defenders of Ukraine were released on October 13 (Photo:Andriy Yermak / Twitter)

Ukraine has returned another 20 of its soldiers from Russian captivity, presidential chief-of-staff Andriy Yermak announced on the Telegram messenger on Oct. 13.

Yermak said those released included 14 army servicemen, four soldiers of the territorial defense, one member of the National Guard of Ukraine, and one serviceman from the Naval Forces.

He added some of them had been kept in the prison colony in Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, as well as in the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya oblasts.

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“The guys are currently undergoing medical examinations, all are happy to be in their native land,” the official said.

“They were very much missed at home. There are wives, parents and children waiting for many of them.”

The Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said those released included soldiers and sergeants, and one officer, with the oldest one being 49 years old and the youngest one 19.

Ukraine won the release of 32 of its soldiers during a prisoner swap on Oct. 11. In addition, the body of Israeli fighter Dmitry Fialka, who was killed while fighting for Ukraine, was also returned as part of the exchange of prisoners.

Ukraine gained the release from Russian captivity of 215 people, including 108 defenders of the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol, on Sept. 21 as part of a large prisoner swap with Russia.

The 215 people released from Russian captivity included military personnel from the State Border Guard Service, the National Police, Ground and Naval Forces, National Guard of Ukraine, territorial defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, State Customs Service, and other services.

That earlier prisoner swap took place in Ukraine’s Chernihiv Oblast. At the same time, five Azov commanders were sent to Turkey under personal guarantees of protection provided by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. According to the agreements, all of them will stay in Turkey until the end of the war in Ukraine.

The list of those released from Russian captivity also included 10 foreigners, with some having been “sentenced” to death by a sham “court” in Russian-occupied Donbas. All of them were released in Saudi Arabia, which acted as a mediator.

Five commanders who were present at the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol were exchanged for 55 Russian prisoners of war. At the same time, Ukraine exchanged 200 of its citizens for Viktor Medvedchuk, the former leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life Party (banned in June 2022), who has been charged with treason.

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