Russia and Ukraine free more than 200 captured soldiers in New Year prisoner swap
- Ukrainian soldiers rejoiced as they were freed as prisoners of war today
- This is the latest Russia and Ukraine prisoner exchange in the 10-month-long war
- Russia released 140 Ukrainians as Ukraine returned 82 Russian military men
Ukrainian prisoners wept tears of joy and hugged one another after they were freed in a prison exchange with Russia on New Year’s Eve.
Both Russia and Ukraine said on Saturday that more than 200 captured soldiers had been freed with swaps taking place at undisclosed locations.
This is the latest prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine in the war that is now in its 310th day.
Footage captured the relief on the Ukrainian soldiers’ faces as they celebrated their freedom with one another.
Russia handed over 140 Ukrainian service personnel today at a series of undisclosed locations
The now free soldiers hugged loved ones as they were released as prisoners of war today
Russia’s Defence Ministry announced today that a total of 82 Russian soldiers had been released by Ukraine.
In return, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Russia had handed over 140 Ukrainian service personnel.
Some of the freed Ukrainian soldiers – 132 men and eight women – had fought to defend the Black Sea port city of Mariupol and on Snake Island, according to Telegram channel Yermak. Many of them had been wounded in the conflict.
The two sides have exchanged hundreds of captured soldiers in several rounds of prisoner exchanges in recent months, despite a complete breakdown in broader diplomatic talks between Moscow and Kyiv.
Many of the Ukrainian forces wept for joy as they were freed as prisoners of war today
The Ukrainian military personnel draped in their military fatigues poured out of a series of buses at the undisclosed location on Saturday
They were met by Ukrainian officials who provided them with white carrier bags that appeared to contain essential supplies and documentation
The now freed prisoners of war lined up to pose for a photo holding a series of Ukrainian flags. They shouted ‘Glory to Ukraine!’, applauding and cheering with one another
The Ukrainian military personnel draped in their military fatigues poured out of a series of buses at the undisclosed location on Saturday.
The soldiers shouted ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ as they stepped off the busses and into freedom as many of them raised their hands in the air in celebration.
Smiles beamed across their faces as they met loved ones and Ukrainian officials who provided them with white carrier bags that appeared to contain essential supplies and documentation.
They then lined up to pose for a photo holding a series of Ukrainian flags. Again, they shouted ‘Glory to Ukraine!, applauding and cheering with one another.
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