Photographs released by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry document yesterday’s prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, which resulted in the release of 144 Ukrainian defenders – the largest exchange since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022.

During his daily address yesterday evening, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine will “do everything to return from Russian captivity all the defenders who are currently held there.”

Ukrainian Defense Ministry

“Some 144 Ukrainian soldiers returned home from Russian captivity, including 59 soldiers of the National Guard, 30 – Navy; 28 – army, 17 border guards, nine territorial defense fighters, and a police officer. The oldest of those freed is 65 years old, and the youngest is 19. In particular, 95 Azovstal defenders are returning home,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

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The President also thanked the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate and everyone who worked on the negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow.

Ukrainian Defense Ministry 

There were also 23 officers and 69 servicemen of sergeant and other senior ranks released, the oldest being 65 years old and the youngest just 19.

Most of the freed Ukrainians have serious injuries, predominantly gunshot and shrapnel wounds, explosive injuries, burns, fractures, and amputations of limbs. All of them are receiving appropriate emergency medical and psychological assistance.

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