Another repatriation event took place as the bodies of 99 more fallen defenders were returned to Ukrainian-controlled territory on Friday, April 12, according to Kyiv’s Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces will transport the repatriated bodies and remains to designated state facilities,” the statement reads.

The bodies and remains of the soldiers will first undergo examination by forensic experts to formally identify the victims, after which they will be returned to their families for a decent burial.

Among the repatriated were 77 bodies of soldiers who fought in the Donetsk direction, 20 bodies of soldiers who fought in the Zaporizhzhia direction, and two bodies of soldiers who fought in the Kharkiv direction.

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Russia and Ukraine regularly exchange bodies. During the last repatriation event on March 29, the bodies of 121 fallen defenders were returned.

In August 2023, the head of Kyiv’s Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Yuriy Taraniuk, mentioned that Russia was handing over to Ukraine the bodies of soldiers who were officially recognized as prisoners of war (POWs).

However, there were no reports of deterioration of their health or serious condition, raising questions about the quality of work or the presence of a medical commission among the Russians, Taraniuk added.

The return of the fallen was achieved through the joint efforts of Ukraine’s POW coordination headquarters, the Security Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Armed Forces, the State Emergency Service, and other representatives of the country's security and defense agencies.

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Additionally, the International Committee of the Red Cross provided assistance to ensure the recovery of the bodies took place.

Kyiv Post reported on Feb. 8 that Ukraine had secured the release of 100 prisoners of war, this followed an earlier larger exchange of 207 prisoners on Jan. 31. These two events bring the total that have been returned from Russian captivity so far to 3135.

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The last exchange was preceded by the crash of a Russian Il-76 aircraft in the Belgorod region that Russia said carried 65 Ukrainian POWs and accused Kyiv of having shot down the plane. To date, there has been no confirmation of Moscow’s assertion.

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