US and UK residents amongst captured overseas fighters launched

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The Saudi-brokered deal got here as a part of a wider prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has mediated the discharge by Russia of ten overseas combatants, Saudi Arabia’s overseas ministry introduced on Wednesday. Hailing from 5 nations, the volunteers had been captured whereas combating for the Ukrainian army.

The prisoners, who’re residents of Croatia, Morocco, Sweden, the UK and the US, have been transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia by Saudi authorities, in keeping with a press release from the ministry. Saudi officers are actually “facilitating procedures for their safe return to their respective countries,” the announcement continued.

Bin Salman personally negotiated the discharge, which occurred as a part of a wider trade of prisoners of conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the ministry added.

The full particulars of the POW trade are unclear, however Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned on Monday that Moscow and Kiev had agreed to trade 200 prisoners. This trade could be the most important such swap since Russia’s army operation in Ukraine started in February.

Erdogan, whose authorities helped dealer a deal earlier this summer time to restart grain shipments from Ukrainian ports, mentioned this trade represented “a very important step.” 

In addition to receiving tens of billions of {dollars} price of Western arms, Ukraine has leaned closely on overseas volunteers to bolster its army. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, greater than 2,000 of those overseas fighters have been eradicated by Russian troops and the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

Shoigu mentioned on Wednesday that simply over 1,000 foreigners stay energetic within the ranks of the Ukrainian army. The Russian minister added that greater than 150 NATO officers and advisers are in Kiev, the place they’re planning and commanding Ukraine’s forces.

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