40 LPR militiamen returning home after months of captivity in Ukraine - Pasechnik

Forty Lugansk People’s Republic fighters released by Ukraine in a prisoner exchange in February are returning home, LPR Acting Head Leonid Pasechnik said in a post on Telegram.
Ukraine handed over 101 servicemen to Russia including 44 LPR residents in the February 16 prisoner swap.
“Forty sons of the Lugansk land are coming back home after months of captivity. LPR ombudsperson Viktoria Serdyukova is accompanying them,” Pasechnik said.”Family reunions are close; the happy fighters are sending video greetings to their relatives.”
“I congratulate the guys on returning home; we’ll continue to work on the release of each Lugansk region hero,” he said.
Serdyukova said that the former POWs would arrive in the LPR on Thursday morning.
“Our fighters can’t wait to hug their loved ones,” she said. “They have to undergo a long course of treatment and rehabilitation. Their papers will be reissued and they will have to adapt to normal life; the most important thing is that they have returned to the Motherland.”
Serdyukova joined the military in thanking the country’s leadership for making supreme efforts towards securing the release of each fighter from Ukrainian captivity.
Earlier, Pasechnik ordered LPR ombudsperson Viktoria Serdyukova to make arrangements for Donbass fighters’  trip back home.
Russia and Ukraine held a prisoner exchange on February 4. Sixty-three Russian servicemen including 12 Donbass defenders returned from Kiev-controlled territory.
Pasechnik said that the Republic had brought home 65 fighters in the prisoner exchange with Ukraine during the New Year holidays.
As of December 12, 2022, 150 LPR militiamen had returned from Ukrainian captivity since the beginning of the special military operation. Just before the New Year, the Republic got back another 41 servicemen including 37 LPR militiamen. The LPR ombudsperson said that more than 100 of them had been physically abused.
The Ukrainian government launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation against Donbass in April 2014.  The peace talks that began soon thereafter failed to reach tangible results due to Kiev’s position to settle the conflict by force.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation to protect Donbass residents from Ukrainian aggression on February 24, 2022. Prior to that, LPR and DPR Heads Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin asked the Russian leader to provide military assistance.
The Lugansk People’s Republic became a part of Russia on September 30, 2022 following the unification referendum.*i*v

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