Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Russia, Ukraine Exchange 50 Soldiers Each In Prisoner Swap

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Kyiv [Ukraine]: Russia and Ukraine conducted a prisoner exchange on Sunday with a total of 100 soldiers returning to their home countries, CNN reported citing authorities from both nations.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, 50 Russian soldiers who had been captured by Ukraine returned to Russia due to the negotiation process. As per the CNN report, this was the 36th exchange that took place between the two nations since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started on February 24. Meanwhile, Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, stated that 50 Ukrainian soldiers captured by Russia returned to Ukraine. In a statement, Yermak said that Ukraine returned the people who were captured in Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Mariupol, Kherson, Kyiv, and other regions, according to CNN. He stressed that this was not the last exchange between two nations and their work is to bring back all the people of Ukraine.

“We returned the people who were captured at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, as well as the defenders of Mariupol, the guys from the Donetsk direction, from near Bakhmut, as well as from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, and other regions,” CNN quoted Andriy Yermak as saying in a statement.

“This is not the last exchange. Our task is to return all our people and we will fulfill it,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Russian-declared ceasefire ended on Saturday at midnight (local time). Two missile strikes were reported in Kharkiv on Saturday which claimed the life of one civilian, CNN reported citing the head of the regional military administration Oleh Syniehubov. The ceasefire was announced from noon Moscow time on Friday to midnight on Saturday.

“Last night the enemy launched two missile strikes on the town of Merefa, Kharkiv region. A civilian industrial facility was damaged. Unfortunately, a 50-year-old civilian was killed,” CNN quoted Oleh Syniehubov as saying.

“Moreover, the enemy shelled Starytsia village in Chuhuiv district and Dvorichna village in Kupiansk district during the day,” he added.

According to CNN, Oleh Syniehubov said that a private residential house and the building of the State Emergency Service unit “came under enemy fire.” He further said that two fuel trucks and a vehicle of firefighters were also damaged.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin directed the Russian Defence Sergey Shoigu to order a ceasefire in Ukraine from January 6-7. He said that the ceasefire will allow Orthodox Christians to attend services in Church on Christmas, according to the statement released by Kremlin on its website.

Putin said that the decision was taken after Patriarch Kirill called for a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine. According to CNN, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia’s ceasefire proposal as “a cover” which was being used by Russia to resupply and stop Ukrainian advances in the eastern Donbas region.

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