- Zelensky’s office said Ukraine and Russia had completed a huge prisoner of war exchange.
- The exchange meant that the 215 Ukrainians captured by Russia would be returned to their country.
- As part of the deal, Putin’s key ally in Ukraine, Viktor Medvechuk, has been sent to Russia.
Ukraine and Russia have completed a prisoner-of-war exchange, with hundreds of fighters and civilians being sent back to Ukraine in exchange for the release of 55 Russians and Putin’s key ally in Ukraine and his daughter’s godfather, Viktor Medvechuk. Medvedchuk).
Andriy Yermak, aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in an update Posted in the government’s telegram channel As a result of the prisoner swap, 215 Ukrainians were repatriated, Yermak added, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also negotiated it.
Viktor Medvechuk, MP and one of Putin’s staunchest Ukrainian allies, was sent to Russia, Reuters reports. He was arrested by Ukrainian authorities in April.
Of the 215 Ukrainians freed, 100 were from the controversial far-right Azov battalion, which Russia has previously called “neo-Nazis.” Some of the founding members of the paramilitary group that sprouted as a result of Russia’s 2014 invasion also wore Nazi paraphernalia and were given the nickname.
As part of the terms of the deal, five Azov commanders will remain in Turkey until the end of the war, According to the Washington Post.
Over the past 30 years, Medvechuk has developed close personal and political ties with Putin, accumulating estimated value According to Forbes, it was $620 million before the war. When he was arrested in Ukraine, authorities confiscated a yacht, 23 houses, 32 apartments, 30 parcels of land and 26 cars.
Earlier on Wednesday, 10 foreign fighters fighting on behalf of Ukraine were captured by Russia, including two Americans, who were also released in a settlement negotiated by Saudi Arabia. The bilateral prisoner-of-war exchange has been a huge coup for the Ukrainians, who have made considerable strides in recent weeks against Russian invaders.