UAE mediation plays role in Russia-Ukraine prisoners of war exchange

More than 200 freed by each side after 'complex negotiation' involving mediation by the UAE, says Moscow

By Reuters

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Wed 3 Jan 2024, 9:28 PM

Last updated: Thu 4 Jan 2024, 10:51 AM

Ukraine and Russia on Wednesday announced their first exchange of prisoners of war for nearly five months, with more than 200 freed by each side after what Moscow said was a complex negotiation involving mediation by the UAE.

Russia's defence ministry said 248 military personnel had been handed over by Ukraine. Kyiv said it had brought home 230 people — 224 soldiers and six civilians — in what it said had been the largest documented swap of troops so far.

Ukraine's POW coordination centre also acknowledged the UAE's role in the exchange, without giving details.

Despite the lack of any dialogue on how to end the 22-month war, Kyiv and Moscow have held many prisoner swaps since the early months of Russia's invasion in February 2022.

But the rate of the exchanges dropped in 2023 and the last one took place in early August.

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