Ukraine and Russia complete first prisoner swap since plane crash

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Photo purportedly showing one of the exchanged Ukrainian soldiersImage source, @V_Zelenskiy_official

Russia and Ukraine say they have exchanged captured soldiers – the first such swap since the crash of a Russian plane that Moscow claimed had 65 prisoners of war (PoWs) on board.

Russia’s defence ministry says each side got 195 soldiers back.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says 207 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were returned on Wednesday.

Kyiv has questioned Moscow’s claim that Ukrainian PoWs were on board the plane that went down in Russia last week.

Russian investigators now say initial information from the Il-76 military transport plane’s flight recorders suggests it was shot down by a missile in the western Belgorod region.

The Russian military earlier claimed that the 65 Ukrainian soldiers had been on the plane heading to the area for a prisoner exchange.

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