Despite the exchange of prisoners of war, attacks continue in Ukraine

Despite the exchange of prisoners of war, attacks continue in Ukraine

Even as Ukraine and Russia agreed to swap prisoners of war, Russian and Ukrainian forces continued missile attacks on each other on Thursday, killing six people. Ukrainian officials said one person was killed and five others were injured in Russian missile attacks targeting the city of Zaporizhzhya. At the same time, officials in separatist-controlled Donetsk said that at least five people were killed in the Ukrainian bombing.

Kirill Tymoshenko, a senior official in the Ukrainian presidential office, said a hotel in the heart of the city of Zaporizhia was the target of a Russian missile attack, where efforts are on to rescue people trapped under the rubble. Meanwhile, efforts to free fighters guarding a steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, from Russian occupation came to a halt in the early hours of Thursday. Russia agreed to release Ukrainian prisoners of war who guarded a steel plant in Mariupol during the Russian offensive in exchange for the release of a high-profile prisoner and some soldiers.

Ukraine has been trying to free these prisoners for several months, and the prisoner it will release in return is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Apart from this, he will also release 55 other prisoners of Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his government had freed 215 Ukrainian citizens and foreigners from Russian occupation through mediation efforts by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

He said many of these were soldiers and officers who were facing the death penalty in Russian-held territory. However, Russian officials are yet to comment on the prisoner swap. A total of 200 Ukrainian prisoners will be released in exchange for Russia-backed opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk. Medvedchuk is a Ukrainian citizen.

(with language input)