Kiev/Kyiv: Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced that the country has conducted a second prisoner exchange with Russia after the first took place late last month.
Friday’s “86 for 86” prisoner exchange took place on President Volodymyr Zelensky’s order, Ukrayinska Pravda quoted Vereshchuk as saying in a statement.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, of the 86 prisoners that have returned home, 15 were women soldiers.
Vereshchuk said that one of the principal positions of the Ukrainian side for the exchange was to include the 15 female soldiers.
Also confirming the exchange, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential office, said the exchanged captives were currently in Ukrainian government-controlled territory.
On March 24, Ukrainian authorities conducted the first prisoners exchange on a 10-for-10 basis, while also rescuing 19 crew members of the rescue ship Sapfir captured by the Russian forces, reports Ukrayinska Pravda
The authorities also exchanged nine Russian conscripts for the kidnapped mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov.
On March 1, local authorities in the Sumy region exchanged a Russian commander for five Ukrainian fighters from the territorial defence forces.
Ukraine has claimed that 24 local government officials have been abducted since the war began on February 24.