Ukraine's Zelenskiy acclaims commanders freed in prisoner swap

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed as "superheroes" the senior Ukrainian commanders, including those who led the dogged defence of Mariupol, who were freed by Russia as part of a prisoner swap involving almost 300 people, including foreigners, reports citing Ukrinform.

Under the terms of the deal, which Turkiye helped broker, 215 Ukrainians - most captured after the fall of the port city - were released on Wednesday. In exchange, Ukraine sent back 55 Russians and pro-Moscow Ukrainians.

Ten foreigners were also freed following mediation by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has maintained close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among them was Briton Aiden Aslin, who had been sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, who said they were "out of the danger zone".

Asked how she felt on hearing about her boyfriend's release in the swap, Ukrainian Yaryna Herashchenko said: "Happiness, shock, tears, joy – a whole spectrum of emotions ..."

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