The Russian Defense Ministry reported the return of 195 servicemen from Ukrainian captivity. According to the Russian ministry, Ukraine in turn received 195 captured AFU soldiers. As President Volodymyr Zelensky notes, a total of 207 people returned to Ukraine.
“Today, as a result of the negotiations, 195 Russian servicemen who were in mortal danger in captivity have returned from the territory controlled by the Kyiv regime,” the Defense Ministry stated.
“Our citizens are finally home. 207 guys. We return them no matter what. We remember each and every one in captivity. Soldiers and civilians. We must return all of them. We are working on it,” the Ukrainian president wrote in Telegram.
The exchange of prisoners was planned for 24 January. However, it was disrupted due to the shootdown of a Russian Il-76 over Belgorod oblast by Ukrainian air defense forces. The aircraft was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners. All of them, as well as 6 crew members and 3 escorts, died. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian intelligence knew that the Il-76 was carrying AFU prisoners of war.