Ukraine said Tuesday it had got back 60 soldiers and 16 civilians in a prisoner swap with Moscow, without giving details on how many Russians went home in the exchange. “Today we exchanged 60 servicemen, including ten officers. Sixteen civilians are also returning home," Kyiv’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.
She said it was the fifth prisoner exchange between the two countries since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24th. As in previous prisoner swaps, she gave no details on how many Russians were exchanged.
The prisoner swap came as Ukraine says Russia has launched a major fresh offensive in the east of the country. Last week Kyiv said it had returned 30 prisoners of war by an order of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Zelensky has offered to swap pro-Kremlin tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, arrested by Kyiv after escaping house arrest, for Ukrainians captured in Russia. On Monday Kyiv’s security services aired a video of Medvedchuk asking his ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Zelensky to exchange him in return for an evacuation of civilians and troops from the besieged port city of Mariupol.