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Dozens of soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

116 Ukrainians and over 60 Russian prisoners freed

Ukraine prisoners released

Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have returned home following a prisoner swap, officials on both sides said Saturday.

Top Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians were freed.

He said the released POWs include troops who held out in Mariupol during Moscow's monthslong siege that reduced the southern port city to ruins, as well as guerrilla fighters from the Kherson region and snipers captured during the ongoing fierce battles for the eastern city of Bakhmut.

Russian defence officials, meanwhile, announced that 63 Russian troops had returned from Ukraine following the swap, including some special category prisoners whose release was secured following mediation by the United Arab Emirates.

A statement issued Saturday by the Russian Defence Ministry did not provide details about these special category captives. "A complicated negotiations process resulted in 63 Russian servicemen returned from Ukrainian territory controlled by the Kyiv regime," TASS agency reported quoting the statement. The Ministry said that the servicemen have reached Russian territory and they are being provided with medical aid and facilities to contact relatives.

(With PTI inputs.)

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