Russia, Ukraine free 214 captured personnel in prisoner exchange

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Russia and Ukraine on Thursday exchanged 214 captured service personnel in the latest of a series of prisoner swaps, many of the Ukrainians wounded survivors of a failed attempt to defend the city of Mariupol in April and May.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said in a statement that Ukraine had released 107 Russian personnel, and that they would be transferred to Moscow for “the necessary medical and psychological assistance”.

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said Russia had released 107 Ukrainian fighters, including 74 who had defended the Azovstal steel works, scene of Ukraine’s last stand in Mariupol.

“We managed to exchange seriously injured and bedridden (fighters) from Mariupol, from ‘Azovstal’, boys with shrapnel wounds to arms and legs, gunshot wounds to various parts of the body. There are people with amputated limbs and (those) who can’t feel part of their face, (others) with infected wounds.”

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