On Wednesday evening, more than 200 people, including a hundred members of the Ukrainian Azov regiment, and ten foreigners were released by Russia in exchange for 55 prisoners held by kyiv, including Vladimir Putin’s close friend Viktor Medvedchuk. This is the largest exchange of prisoners since the start of the war in Ukraine. kyiv and Moscow have exchanged military detainees, the Ukrainian authorities revealed on Wednesday September 21, shortly after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists to relaunch his offensive in Ukraine. “We succeeded in free 215 people”, specified, Wednesday evening, on television, the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriï Yermak. Russian invasion, including 108 members of the Azov regiment. Five military commanders, including defense chiefs from Azovstal, have been transferred to Turkey, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed. They will remain in this country “in absolute safety and in comfortable conditions” until “the end of the war” under the terms of an agreement with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the Ukrainian head of state.The case of Viktor MedvedchukRussia has recovered 55 prisoners, including ex-MP Viktor Medvedchuk, a close Russian President Vladimir Putin, accused of high treason in Ukraine, said Volodymyr Zelensky in his daily address. The 68-year-old oligarch, leader of the pro-Russian opposition, had escaped from his house arrest in Ukraine a few days before the Russian invasion on February 24. He was arrested again in April. He faces life imprisonment in Ukraine for treason and complicity with a terrorist organization. He is accused of having acted as a middleman in the purchase of coal for the breakaway republic of Donetsk, backed by Russia, in eastern Ukraine. Several experts say that Vladimir Putin is the godfather of his youngest daughter. His detention sparked heated exchanges between officials in Moscow and Kyiv. Viktor Medvedchuk is the head of the political council of the pro-Russian Ukrainian opposition party Platform for Life, the largest opposition group in the Ukrainian parliament. The government suspended the activity of the party. “It is not regrettable to exchange Medvedchuk for real warriors,” Zelensky said in his nightly video speech. “He has already passed all stages of the investigation, in accordance with the law. Ukraine has received from him everything necessary to establish the truth in the context of criminal proceedings.”Russian officials, from their side, contented themselves with confirming that the released prisoners were now on Russian soil, without specifying their number or referring to Viktor Medvedchuk. “All servicemen were delivered to the territory of the Russian Federation by military transport planes and are in medical institutions of the Russian Defense Ministry,” the ministry said in a statement. a certain embarrassment of the authorities vis-à-vis Russian public opinion, according to certain observers. On Wednesday, Putin returned 215 Ukrainian prisoners, 108 defenders of Azovstal, including 5 Azov commanders, against the transfer of Medvedchuk, the Ukrainian businessman whose daughter he is the godfather… Symbolic defeat for Putin + Huge blow boost to morale in Kyiv— Stéphane Siohan (@stefsiohan) September 21, 2022 Ten foreign prisonersAmong the prisoners of war released by Moscow are ten foreigners including five British, two Americans, a national of Morocco, Sweden and Croatia, according to a Saudi official briefed on the operation. British Prime Minister Liz Truss said, on Twitter, that the release of the British was “extremely welcome news… ending months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families.’Liz Truss said they had been ‘held by Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine’ and thanked Volodymyr Zelensky and Saudi Arabia for helping to li On Twitter, MP Robert Jenrick identified one of the British detainees as Aiden Aslin, who was sentenced to death in June as a suspected mercenary after being captured by pro-Russian separatists. >> Foreign fighters in Ukraine: soldiers or mercenaries, a matter of life and death The White House also thanked the President of Ukraine and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, for facilitating the exchange. “We look forward to our citizens being reunited with their families,” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement posted on Twitter. Riyadh. In Zagreb, the Foreign Ministry said the released Croatian, Vjekoslav Prebeg, detained in April, would return on Thursday, thanking Kyiv and Riyadh. These releases fo nt following efforts by Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, “in continuation of (his) commitment to humanitarian initiatives aimed at resolving the Russian-Ukrainian crisis”, according to the Saudi statement. A video broadcast by the official Saudi press agency shows the ten prisoners of war welcomed when they get off the plane in Riyadh, then escorted to a room where they discuss with diplomats from their respective embassies. With AFP and AP
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