The federal Kommersant, as well as a number of employees of state-owned Russian television channels, confirm the exchange of prisoners that took place between Russia and Ukraine. Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk is named among those released.
According to information from military correspondents loyal to the Kremlin, 50 Russian servicemen (according to other sources – 55) arrived at the Chkalovsky airfield, they were delivered by a military transport aircraft. And Russia allegedly handed over 205 prisoners of war to Ukraine as part of the exchange. Pro-Russian telegram channels report that another 30 people will be delivered to Russia tomorrow.
“According to the Ukrainian side, Ukraine exchanged its prisoners of war, and Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk was transferred to Russia. The exchange of prisoners was confirmed by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on the air of the telethon. “Kommersant”.
Among the prisoners handed over to Ukraine are the commanders of the Azov battalion* (“an organization banned in Russia), write Russian military correspondents. It is noted that the “Azov” will remain in Turkey “under the personal guarantees” of Turkish President Erdogan until the end of hostilities in Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that he welcomes the Russian-Ukrainian agreement, and stressed that as part of the exchange, two American citizens who had previously been sentenced to death by the DPR court received their freedom. The media report that a total of 10 third-country nationals were released, who were accused of mercenarism in favor of Ukraine.
The head of the state Russian channel RT, Margarita Simonyan, commented on numerous publications of the Ukrainian media as follows:
“What is more important? Joy from saving one’s own or satisfaction from retribution to the enemy?
For me, it’s the first. I know many, for whom – the second. And I can understand them. But for me, it’s still number one.
That’s all I can say about the exchange so far. There will be more tomorrow.”