After eight months since the war began, Ukraine and Russia finally held an all-female swap for prisoners of war. Ukraine reportedly saw the return of 108 female prisoners who had been detained in Russian prisons.
The swap was announced in a series of tweets by the Ukrainian Presidency’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak.
Alongside a picture of the female POWs, Yermak revealed on Twitter, “Another large-scale POWs swap was carried out today. Extremely emotional and really special: we freed 108 women from captivity.Mothers and daughters. Their relatives have been waiting for them to come back. 37 Azovstal evacuees, 11 officers, 85 privates and NCOs.”
“Now all the ladies will undergo a medical examination and rehabilitation. They will hug their relatives, their children. They will recover. Thanks to the Coordinating Staff on the Treatment of Prisoners of War and everyone involved for the brilliant job,” added Yermak in another Tweet detailing the plan of action now that the women are back in their homeland.
“After the swap, I talked to the Secretary of the Coordination Headquarters for the treatment of POWs Dmytro Usov, and ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets. They told me about the condition of Ukrainian women released from the Russian captivity, and we discussed our next steps. We’ll go on,” he added further in a final tweet.
Denis Pushilin, The head of the breakaway region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, seemed to confirm Yermak’s announcement further adding that 110 women who were POWs were given the option to return back to Ukraine, out of whom 108 chose to return while 2 have reportedly stayed back.