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Head of Ukraine’s Presidential Office Andriy Yermak reported on Jan. 8 that 50 Ukrainian military personnel were freed from Russian captivity and returned to Ukraine in a prisoner exchange.
Among those returned are reportedly 33 officers and 17 privates and sergeants.
Yermak noted that those who were returned were part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, territorial defense units, naval forces, State Border Guard Service, National Guard, and Special Operations Forces.
The released personnel were taken captive at the formerly Russian-occupied Chornobyl nuclear power plant, as well as in Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Kherson oblasts. Some of them had defended the city of Mariupol and Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.
“This is not the last exchange,” Yermak said. “Our task is to return all our people and we will fulfill it.”
At least 3,392 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians remain in Russian captivity as of Jan. 3, according to Alyona Verbytska, the President’s Commissioner for Protecting Defenders Rights. These are the numbers that Russia has officially confirmed, she said.
Ukraine retrieved nearly 1,600 prisoners of war in 2022, according to the Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories.
In the recent prisoner exchange on Dec. 31, 140 Ukrainians were freed from Russian captivity, according to the Head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak.