A significant and massive prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia marks the day of war following Vladimir Putin’s ominous speech. “There has been a great prisoner exchange. It went through different stages and in different places. We brought back 215 people from Russian captivity, ”said the head of Ukrainian President Zelensky’s office. “These are soldiers, border guards, policemen, sailors, national guards, troops of the territorial forces, customs officers and civilians. Among them are officers, commanders, heroes of Ukraine, Azovstal defenders and pregnant soldiers, ”he said in a statement. They are the ones “whom the Russians wanted to kill, which they called Nazis,” our strong people who have not been destroyed by battles and imprisonment “, including the top commanders of the units defending Mariupol.
The Ukrainian pro-Russian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk also ended up in the exchange, who was handed over to the Russians and “who has already provided all possible evidence to the investigation”: the head of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Andriy Yermak, revealed. , according to Ukrinform. The exchange – he added – “is the result of personal agreements between President Zelensky and President (Turkish, ed) Erdogan. The Russians wanted to blackmail us with their lives, but we will not allow them to do it with anyone, ”Yermak stressed.
Medvedchuk, arrested in Ukraine last April while trying to escape, is very close to Putin. Married since 2003 to Oksana Marchenko, a famous Ukrainian TV presenter, with her he had a daughter, Dasha, baptized in St. Petersburg by exceptional godparents: Vladimir Putin and Svetlana Mededeva (wife of the former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev).
As part of the massive exchange of prisoners of war between Russians and Ukrainians, “five heroes, commanders of the Azovstal defense, were exchanged for 55 prisoners of war, who are of no interest to us,” said the head of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Andriy Yermak, according to Ukrinform. «It was a difficult process – he added -. We have 215 people released: this is a significant result, due to correct tactics using a position of strength, which includes the results of the efforts on the front line of the armed forces ».
Among the freed people there are also 10 foreigners who fought alongside the Ukrainians, some of them threatened with death. Released thanks to the efforts of Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman, they are now in Riyadh.