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Sept 21 (Reuters) – Russia has launched 215 Ukrainians it took prisoner following a protracted battle for the port city of Mariupol earlier this 12 months, together with major armed forces leaders, a senior official in Kyiv mentioned on Wednesday.
The freed prisoners incorporate the commander and deputy commander of the Azov battalion that did considerably of the fighting, mentioned Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s business.
The shift is unforeseen, given that Russian-backed separatists last thirty day period mentioned there would be a trial of Azov personnel, who Moscow describes as Nazis. Ukraine denies the cost.
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In a assertion, Yermak reported the freed prisoners integrated Azov commander Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko and his deputy, Svyatoslav Palamar.
Also at liberty is Serhiy Volynsky, the commander of the 36th Maritime Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The three males had assisted lead a dogged months-prolonged resistance from the bunkers and tunnels beneath Mariupol’s big metal works just before they and hundreds of Azov fighters surrendered in May to Russian-backed forces.
Yermak said that in return, Kyiv experienced freed 55 Russian prisoners as perfectly as Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of a banned professional-Russian occasion who was struggling with treason rates.
Community broadcaster Suspline claimed the exchange had happened in close proximity to the northern Ukrainian town of Chernihiv.
Before in the day, Saudi Arabia explained Russia had unveiled 10 overseas prisoners of war captured in Ukraine pursuing mediation by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. examine far more
Final month, the head of the Russian-backed separatist administration in the jap Ukrainian area of Donetsk claimed a demo of captured Azov personnel would acquire area by the stop of the summer time. read more
The Azov unit, fashioned in 2014 as a militia to combat Russian-backed separatists, denies currently being fascist, and Ukraine claims it has been reformed from its radical nationalist origins.
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Reporting by David Ljunggren
Enhancing by Alistair Bell and Rosalba O’Brien
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