Over 2,000 prisoners exchanged between Russia, Ukraine since start of war

Over 2,000 prisoners have been exchanged between Russia and Ukraine since the start of the war on Feb. 24 last year, according to figures compiled by Anadolu.

The first prisoner exchange in the war was announced on March 17 by Daria Zarivna, press secretary for the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office.

Ukraine's Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov was exchanged for nine Russian soldiers captured during the war.

Since then, according to information released by the Russian Ministry of Defense, at least 800 Russian soldiers have been released by Ukraine in prisoner exchanges to date.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Telegram on Feb. 4, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said prisoner exchanges have been going on for months, and that 1,762 Ukrainians have returned to their country since the start of the war.

Ukraine also claimed that 1,596 Ukrainians were released by Russia in 2022, of whom 1,464 were soldiers and 132 were civilians.

Prisoner exchanges have also taken place between Russia and Ukraine in 2023, with the most recent exchange being the release of 101 Ukrainian soldiers on Feb. 16.

Although exchanges have taken place on the bilateral level, other countries such as Türkiye have contributed to the exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Kyiv through mediation in multiple instances.

On Sept. 22, the exchange of 215 Ukrainian prisoners of war was held after talks between Zelenskyy and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"I talked to President Erdogan. The security of Azov's five commanders will be ensured in Türkiye under Erdogan's close supervision. These commanders are Sergey Volynsky, Svyatoslav Palamar, Denis Prokopenko, Oleg Khomenko, Denys Shlega. I am once again grateful to President Erdogan," Zelenskyy said a day after the exchange.

Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Erdogan once again during the online TRT World Forum 2022 on Dec. 9-10, and highlighted his Turkish counterpart's assistance during prisoner exchanges.

Almost 12 months have passed since Russia declared its "special military operation" in Ukraine, which has resulted in the death of at least 8,006 civilians and 13,287 injuries, according to the latest UN figures.

Source: AA

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