Ukraine announced the largest prisoner exchange with Russia during the war, during which 144 Ukrainian soldiers were released, 95 of them defenders of Azovstal, including 43 fighters of the Azov regiment. This was reported by the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
“Released: 59 soldiers of the National Guard, 30 servicemen of the Navy, 28 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 17 employees of the State Border Service, 9 servicemen of the territorial defense, one policeman. Of these, 23 officers and 69 non-commissioned officers. The eldest of them is 65 years old, the youngest is 19. Most of the liberated Ukrainians have severe gunshot and shrapnel wounds, injuries, burns, fractures, amputations of limbs. All of them receive proper emergency medical and psychological care. The coordination headquarters continues to work on the return of all captured defenders.
Updated: the head of the so-called DPR, Denis Pushilin, said that the republic had exchanged prisoners with Ukraine according to the formula "144 for 144".
In May, 2.5 thousand Ukrainian soldiers who defended Azovstal surrendered . On June 7, TASS reported that more than a thousand of them were sent to Russia for investigation. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky expressed the hope that it would be possible to save their lives: “Thanks to the actions of the Ukrainian military Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence, as well as the negotiating group, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN, we have hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys. I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words.