Twenty-three militiamen have returned to the Lugansk People’s Republic after a prisoner exchange with Ukraine, LPR ombudsperson Viktoria Serdyukova told the Lugansk Media Center.
The Russian Federation and Ukraine held prisoner swaps on November 23 and 24. On Thursday, 35 servicemen from Russia and the Donbass Republics returned from Kiev-controlled territory. Ukraine also got back 35 people, mostly army personnel. On Friday, the sides exchanged 50 POWs each.
“As a result of prisoner swaps between Russia and Ukraine on November 24 and 25, 23 LPR servicemen returned home,” Serdyukova said.
The LPR got back 24 (11, nine and four) militiamen in three prisoner swaps with Ukraine last month. On November 10, LPR Acting Head Leonid Pasechnik said that another 35 Donbass defenders returned from Ukrainian captivity, including 33 LPR militiamen and two LPR residents who had fought for the DPR.
Serdyukova said that Ukraine refused to recognize more than 100 of its servicemen held by the Lugansk People’s Republic.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation to protect Donbass residents from Ukrainian aggression. Prior to that, LPR and DPR Heads Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin asked the Russian leader to provide military assistance. On July 3, the LPR militia and Russian armed forces fully liberated the LPR territory from Ukrainian armed formations.
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.
The Lugansk People’s Republic became a part of Russia on September 30, 2022 following the unification referendum. *i*v