Ukraine And Russia Conduct First Prisoner Swap Since February Amid Ongoing War

Russia and Ukraine have conducted their first prisoner swap in almost four months, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) acting as a mediator.

What Happened: On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the exchange of 75 prisoners from each side, Bloomberg reported on Friday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that four civilians were among those who returned to Ukraine.

The UAE, which also mediated the previous swap on Feb. 8, played a crucial role in this latest exchange. The February swap took place approximately two weeks after Russia reported the downing of a military plane near Belgorod, which was carrying prisoners for an exchange with Ukraine.

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Why It Matters: The prisoner swap comes in the wake of escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Just a day before the swap, U.S. President Joe Biden greenlit Ukrainian strikes with U.S.-supplied weapons inside Russia, a move that saw a rise in defense stocks.

Earlier in May, a top Ukrainian intelligence officer suggested that Ukraine might need to negotiate with Russia to end the war, indicating a possible shift in the country’s approach to the conflict.

Back in January, the Russian President had blamed Ukraine for shooting down a plane carrying 65 prisoners of war, further straining the already tense relationship between the two countries.

Read Next: Elon Musk Weighs In Amid Reports Of Russia Jamming 90% Of Ukraine’s Missiles: ‘Signal Is Very Weak’

Photo by Anna Aybetova on Shutterstock

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Pooja Rajkumari

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGeneralPooja Rajkumariprisoner exchangeUAEUkraine-Russia WarVladimir PutinVolodymyr Zelenskyy
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