President’s Office Head Andriy Yermak said that Russia had released 60 Ukrainian prisoners of war under the prisoner exchange on Dec. 6.
He added that among those who returned home were soldiers who fought in the port city of Mariupol. Yermak said that some soldiers were held in occupied Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, where an explosion on July 29 killed over 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war.
Some of the released service members were injured, according to Yermak.
The exchange took place on Dec. 6, Ukraine's Armed Forces Day.
“This is the best news on the holiday because the heroes must be alive,” Yermak said.
On Dec. 6, Ukraine also returned the bodies of 49 fallen soldiers, the Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Ministry reported.
Under the previous prisoner exchange on Dec. 1, Ukraine brought back 50 prisoners of war. The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that it also received 50 people back as part of the prisoner swap.
Between mid-March and November, Ukraine returned more than 1,130 prisoners of war, according to the Coordination Headquarters for Treatment of Prisoners.
Ukraine has reportedly returned 827 fallen servicepeople thus far.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, 2,500 Ukrainian prisoners of war were in Russian captivity as of late September.