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Ukraine returns 10 of its civilians from Russian captivity: Deputy Chairman of Mejlis among them

Ukraine returns 10 of its civilians from Russian captivity: Deputy Chairman of Mejlis among them Photo: Nariman Dzhelal (from open sources)

The deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people (the only higher authorized representative and executive body of the Crimean Tatar people), Nariman Dzhelal, who was captured in 2021, has been successfully released from Russian captivity, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced this on his Telegram.

Here is the list of those who have been successfully returned:

  1. Nariman Dzhelal - Deputy Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, captured in Crimea in 2021.
  2. Olena Pekh and Valerii Matyushenko - civilians held captive since 2017-2018.
  3. Bohdan Heleta and Ivan Levytskyi - Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priests captured in Berdyansk for resisting Russian forces.
  4. Five other civilians were captured in Belarus and deprived of their freedom: Mykola Shvets, Natalia Zakharenko, Pavlo Kupriienko, Liudmyla Honcharenko, and Kateryna Briukhanova.

According to Zelenskyy, all of them have been released and are now back home in Ukraine.

"Thank you to everyone who helped! Thanks to our team working on the release of prisoners. I also want to acknowledge the efforts of the Vatican in bringing these people home," wrote the president.

Later, the authorized representative of the Verkhovna Rada on Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, published a photo with the returned Ukrainians on his Telegram.

З полону РФ вдалось повернути Нарімана Джеляла та ще 9 українців, - Зеленський

Meanwhile, the Coordination Headquarters for the Release of Prisoners of War reported that among those released was Mykola Shvets, whom the Belarusian authorities accused of blowing up a Russian long-range radar detection A-50 military plane at the airfield in Machulyshchy.

According to the Headquarters, these Ukrainians were returned as part of a previous exchange that took place on June 25. This indicates that a total of 100 Ukrainian citizens were successfully returned home as part of the 53rd exchange. Overall, 3,310 Ukrainians have been released from Russian captivity.

Prisoner exchanges

On June 25, 90 defenders returned to Ukraine from Russian captivity.

According to Andrii Yusov, spokesperson for Defence Intelligence, the operation involving another exchange of military prisoners between Ukraine and Russia is ongoing.