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Russia confirms 55 servicemen freed in prisoner swap wi…

In its day by day briefing, the ministry mentioned the fighters – from Russia’s armed forces and its proxies within the Russian-backed separatist areas of japanese Ukraine – had been transported to Russia by a navy airplane and had been present process medical checks.

The shock swap concerned nearly 300 folks, together with 10 foreigners and Ukrainian commanders who had led a protracted defence of the port metropolis of Mariupol.

The Russian-installed separatist head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Folks’s Republic (DPR) mentioned that pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk had been freed as a part of the deal.

Medvedchuk, a private pal of Russian President Vladimir Putin, headed a banned pro-Russian occasion in Ukraine and was going through treason costs.

The swap was brokered by Saudi Arabia and comes simply earlier than referendums in elements of Ukraine occupied by Russia which might be prone to pave the wave for Russia to formally declare the annexation of extra swathes of its neighbour.

(Reporting by Reuters; Modifying by Kevin Liffey)

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