‘We traded one Russian fan for 200 warriors,’ says Ukraine’s President Zelensky Fugitive oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk sits in a chair with his hands handcuffed after a special operation carried out by the Ukrainian Security Service on April 12. (Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine/Getty Images) Pro-Kremlin Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk, captured in April, is being exchanged with Russia as part of a prisoner swap, according to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky said that 200 Ukrainian prisoners had returned home in exchange for Medvedchuk. “At first, we were offered to return 50 of ours in exchange for one of those who are in the detention center of the Security Service of Ukraine. We talked. We insisted. The number increased from 50 to 200,” Zelensky said during his speech. night. Vasyl Maliuk, acting head of the Ukrainian security service, said Medvedchuk “is not just a godfather to Putin’s son, but he is documented by us as a traitor.” “Furthermore, while working on the Medvedchuk case, we have neutralized multiple agent networks, arrested multiple traitors, and received a lot of valuable information that we are using for counterintelligence that will bring us closer to our victory,” Maliuk added. Five Ukrainian commanders were included in the prisoner swap, as were 55 prisoners who will be sent to Russia, according to Zelensky. It is not clear whether the 55 prisoners are all Russian or pro-Russian, but Zelensky described them as people “who fought against Ukraine, and those who betrayed Ukraine.” According to Andrii Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, a total of 215 prisoners of war have been released in the framework of an exchange of prisoners of war between Russia and Ukraine, including ten foreign prisoners. “Among those released from captivity, there are 108 fighters from Azov and other formations,” Yermak said. These are fighters from the controversial Azov Battalion, belonging to the Ukrainian National Guard, which Russia has previously described as neo-Nazis. Yermak also said that 10 foreigners were among those exchanged. “Based on the requests of our international partners, we have also returned 10 foreign defenders from Ukraine. These are representatives of the countries that help us the most: the United States, Great Britain, Croatia, Sweden and Morocco,” Yermak said. The head of the State Property Fund, Rustem Umerov, said: “They are safe and released from captivity. We are currently in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The subsequent safe transfer is planned from here to their countries with our partners.” Yermak added. The Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War (CHTPW), a government institution under Defense Intelligence, said five Britons and two Americans were among the 10 foreign prisoners. “It should be noted that the release of captive foreign soldiers took place in the framework of the largest exchange since the full-scale invasion of Russia,” the CHTPW said on Thursday. “The released heroes are waiting for their rehabilitation and adaptation; they will receive the necessary treatment,” the CHTPW added.
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