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Dozens of soldiers are freed in a Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap : NPR


Firefighters from Ukraine’s State Emergency Service extinguished the fire after Russian shelling hit an industrial park in Kherson, Ukraine, on Friday.

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Firefighters from Ukraine’s State Emergency Service extinguished the fire after Russian shelling hit an industrial park in Kherson, Ukraine, on Friday.

LIBKOS/AP

KYIV, Ukraine — Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have returned home after a prisoner exchange, officials on both sides said Saturday.

Top aide to Ukraine’s president Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians have been released.

He said the freed prisoners included troops who held out Mariupol during the months-long siege of Moscow that left the southern port city in ruins, as well as guerrilla fighters from the region. Kherson and his snipers were captured in fierce battles taking place in the eastern city of Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, Russian defense officials announced that 63 Russian soldiers had returned from Ukraine after the exchange, including a number of “special category” prisoners who were released after mediation by the Emirs. United Arab Emirates.

A statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday did not provide details about these “special category” prisoners.

At least three civilians have been killed in Ukraine in the past 24 hours as Russian forces attacked nine regions in the south, north and east of the country, according to reports on Ukraine TV channel by regional governors. on Saturday morning.

Two people were killed and 14 others injured in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine due to Russian rocket and artillery attacks, local Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a Telegram update on Saturday morning. .

The death toll included one man killed and seven others injured Friday after a Russian missile crashed into Toretsk, a town in the Donetsk region. Kyrylenko said 34 houses, two kindergartens, an outpatient clinic, a library, a cultural center and other buildings were damaged during the strike.

Local Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram that seven teenagers were injured by shrapnel after an anti-personnel landmine exploded late Friday in the northeastern city of Izium. He said they were all hospitalized but their lives were not in danger.

Elsewhere, regional Ukrainian officials have reported that Russia shelled overnight border settlements in the northern Sumy region, as well as the town of Marhanets, which is in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant. Zaporizhzhia. Kiev has long accused Moscow of using the factory, captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, as a base to launch attacks on Ukrainian-controlled territory across the Dnieper River.

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