Donetsk Peoples Republic Leader Denis Pushilin announced today that a prisoner exchange, at an unspecified location traded 144 Ukrainian soldiers, most taken at Mariupol, for 144 Donetsk Militia and Russian Federation Armed Forces members, captured at various locations. He said this:
“Today, we are returning home 144 fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian Federation who were captured by the enemy.
We handed over to Kyiv the same number of prisoners from the armed formations of Ukraine, most of whom were wounded. Several of them are ordinary nationalist battalions, their condition is deplorable: the wounds are severe, with amputation of limbs and other complications.
At the same time, our main task is to rescue the fighters who took part in the liberation special operation. The enemy turned out to have very valuable military personnel. Among the liberated there are those mobilized who were taken prisoner under various circumstances. Most of them are injured, and they need urgent qualified medical assistance. I wish them a speedy recovery.”
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has this to say:
“Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War: 144 Defenders of Ukraine Released from Captivity in Large-Scale Exchange.
Another exchange of prisoners took place, thanks to which 144 Ukrainian defenders returned home. This is the largest exchange since the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion. Of the 144 fired, 95 are Azovstal defenders. Among them are 43 servicemen of the Azov Regiment.
? Generally dismissed
59 soldiers of the National Guard;
30 – Navy;
28 – Armed Forces of Ukraine;
17 – State Border Guard Service of Ukraine;
9 – Territorial defense;
1 – National Police of Ukraine.
? 23 of them are officers and 69 sergeants and non-commissioned officers. The oldest of the released turned 65, the youngest – 19.
? Most of the released Ukrainians have serious injuries: gunshot and shrapnel wounds, explosive injuries, burns, fractures, amputations of limbs. They all receive appropriate emergency medical and psychological care.
? The Coordination Headquarters continues its work on the return of all captured defenders.“
It seems that this exchange was meant for the worst off prisoners of both sides in Donetsk. The Russian Federation captured about 2,000 Ukrainian troops for Mariupol alone. However, the United Nations and the Red Cross have been troubled by the surprisingly low amount of prisoners recorded by both sides for the size of this conflict.