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Kyiv repatriates 95 Azovstal defenses in the largest prisoner swap with Russia

In the largest prisoner exchange with Russia, Ukraine has returned 144 soldiers.

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Kyiv repatriates 95 Azovstal defenses in the largest prisoner swap with Russia

In the largest prisoner exchange with Russia, Ukraine has returned 144 soldiers. These 95 soldiers are defenders of Azovstal steelworks. This partially resolves uncertainty over the fate of these fighters who have not been heard since they surrendered to invading troops at May's end.

"This is the largest exchange in the history of the Russian invasion. The Ministry of Defense on Telegram confirmed that 95 of the 144 people released were Azovstal defenders. It did not provide any further information on the details or the dates of the operation. The fact that the exchanges between the kyiv-russians has intensified over the past month is confirmed. This may be due to the favorable negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, which are more favorable than starting new peace talks. The armies of each nation exchanged 17 soldiers last Tuesday. They also agreed to repatriate the remains of soldiers who died at the front a week before. This allowed Ukraine to retrieve 64 bodies from combatants who were killed in the Mariupol steelworks.

According to intelligence services, most of the prisoners who were transferred last year are either "severely wounded" by shrapnel or bullets or have suffered burns and fractures. Ninety officers, noncommissioned officers, and sergeants are among them. The bulk of them are members the National Guard who played an important role in the Mariupol resistance. 43 militiamen of the Azov Battallion were also transferred, despite Moscow's willingness to label all components of the regiment "Nazis". Even Parliament supported the return of the death penalty.

Kyrylo Budanov (head of Ukrainian intelligence), was responsible for saving the Azovstal defenders. He had already told the 22nd that he hopes to have "a significant" number of Ukrainian prisoners return home in the "near future." They were all held in Donetsk, a colony under the control pro-Russian separatists. There, 2,449 soldiers were taken. This was the only way to save them lives. The Azov Battalion commanders were not held in that colony and were taken to Moscow. Two British militiamen captured in the steel plant by another Moroccan were accused of being mercenaries. They were sentenced to death at a pro-Russian tribunal.

The kyiv authorities, on the other hand have lost hope of finding survivors among the rubble of Monday's attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk in the Poltava region southeast of Kiev. According to Denis Monastirski (Interior Minister), 20 deaths have been reported and 59 injuries have been sustained. More than 40 missing persons reports remain in force, which could indicate that the final death toll will be higher.

Sources from the Ministry of the Interior, however, were quoted by the Kyev Independent media as saying yesterday that they "have no hope" of finding survivors despite the efforts of the nearly 4,500 rescue team members who help to clear debris and search for victims. Rescuers suspect that some bodies may have been destroyed by the fire or missile explosion.

Kremenchuk is not the only victim of the invading Army's systematic bombing campaign in the southeast. Five people died in Mikolaiv or Dnipro between Tuesday and yesterday. The artillery siege resulted in the Lugansk Province being virtually destroyed by the Ukrainian General Staff. The Russian security forces detained the mayor of Kherson, Ihor Kolykhayev. He was accused of refusing to follow orders from the invaders who occupied the Black Sea area's key enclave within the first weeks after the war. Moscow has detained him as the third president of a large city.

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