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Ukraine war: Moscow and Kyiv swap women prisoners for sailors

  • Published
    17 minutes ago

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Image source, Reuters

Russia has exchanged 110 Ukrainian women held as prisoners of war for the same number of Russian captives held by Ukraine, officials on both sides say.

Of the women, 37 were reportedly captured after surrendering at the siege of the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, which ended in May.

Two Ukrainian prisoners are said to have opted to stay on in Russia.

The Russian prisoners freed are mostly merchant sailors whose ships were detained in Ukraine.

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They also include members of pro-Russian separatist military units from the east Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Daylight photos were released of the Ukrainian women boarding coaches in an unspecified area and later of them arriving after dark in government-held territory in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia.

Freed prisoners

Image source, Reuters

Freed prisoners

Image source, Reuters

Freed prisoners

Image source, Reuters

The Ukrainian presidency’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, confirmed on social media that 108 women had been released in the “first all-female exchange”.

He said they included mothers and daughters who had been held captive together. All but 12 of them are servicewomen, he said.

Denis Pushilin, the top Russian-backed official in the breakaway part of Ukraine’s Donetsk region, confirmed the swap, saying two detainees had decided to remain in Russia.

According to Mr Pushilin, the prisoners freed by Ukraine are 80 sailors and 30 service personnel.

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