(NewsReady.com) – A Russian plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners recently crashed while it was headed to a prisoner swap location. The incident caused an uproar on both sides of the battlefield. Days after the accident, the two nations carried out an exchange.
On January 31, Russia and Ukraine swapped hundreds of soldiers. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, he was able to bring 207 of his soldiers home. The president, who has been fighting to defend his nation from a Russian invasion, said they “remember each Ukrainian in captivity” and want to recover them all.
Our people are back. 207 of them. We return them home no matter what.
We remember each Ukrainian in captivity. Both warriors and civilians. We must bring all of them back. We are working on it.
The Ukrainian team has done another excellent job. Budanov, Yermak, Usov, Maliuk,… pic.twitter.com/ZNNdTz3mKO
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 31, 2024
In return for the 207 Ukrainians, Russia received 195 of their prisoners of war. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that its citizens “faced mortal danger in captivity.”
The prisoner swap was the 50th time the two countries have exchanged prisoners with one another. According to The New York Times, more than 3,000 Ukrainian civilians and soldiers have been returned as a result. Zelenskyy applauded his country, saying they returned the enemy forces “in spite of everything” that has happened in their nation.
The swap happened less than a week after Russia accused Ukraine of shooting down a transport plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners. The Ukrainian government criticized Russia for not informing them that they intended to transport prisoners at that time, but has not confirmed or denied the allegations.
The plane crash raised concerns that the diplomatic channels between the two nations that helped plan those prisoner swaps would be destroyed. However, the latest exchange shows they are still willing to work with one another if it means rescuing their own citizens from the hands of the enemy.
Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February 2022. Since then, the two Eastern European nations have been locked in a fierce battle, with neither of them willing to give an inch to the other.
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