Ukraine has announced that 215 Ukrainian and foreign citizens have been released by Russia in the biggest exchange since the beginning of hostilities in February, including fighters who led the defence of Mariupol’s Azovstal steel works and later were transported to Russia.
Russia received 55 prisoners including Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian legislator and ally of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin accused of high treason, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in his daily address.
Medvedchuk was arrested in April, after escaping house arrest.
At the time, Zelenskiy suggested exchanging him for Ukrainian war prisoners which the Kremlin rejected.
Five commanders of the Azov regiment are among those released.