Dozens of troops freed in Ukraine-Russia prisoner swap

Officials on both sides say more than 175 soldiers are heading home; bodies of British aid workers returned to Ukraine

Ukrainian prisoners of war after a swap for Russian soldiers in Ukraine on Saturday. Reuters
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Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have been returned home after a swap, officials on both sides said on Saturday.

Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians were freed.

A still image from video released by the Russian Defence Ministry shows what it says are Russian troops released by Ukraine during the latest exchange. Reuters

He said the released prisoners included troops who held out in Mariupol during the Russian siege, as well as fighters from Kherson region and snipers captured during the fighting for the eastern city of Bakhmut.

Mr Yermak also said the bodies of British volunteer aid workers Andrew Bagshaw and Chris Parry had been sent to Ukraine.

The pair were killed during an attempted evacuation in eastern Ukraine last month, Mr Parry's family has said.

Russian defence officials said 63 troops had returned from Ukraine following the swap, including some prisoners described as being in a “special category”.

They did not explain the meaning of the term.

Also on Saturday, an accident at a high-voltage substation in Ukraine's Odesa region caused power cuts in the eponymous regional capital, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

“The situation is difficult, the scale of the accident is significant, it is impossible to quickly restore power supply, in particular to critical infrastructure,” Mr Shmyhal wrote on Telegram.

He said the substation had been damaged many times by Russian missiles.

Updated: February 04, 2023, 1:51 PM