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Ukraine seeks mediation to release prisoners of Azovstal, Zelenskyy says

Ukraine seeks mediation to release prisoners of Azovstal, Zelenskyy says President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

Ukraine is seeking intermediaries to facilitate a prisoner exchange with Russia, particularly concerning the release of Azovstal defenders, according to an evening address by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The head of state reminds that today, January 19, he had a phone conversation with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Special emphasis was placed on expressing gratitude to Ukraine for the mediation of the UAE in the release of prisoners of war.

"Our work does not stop for a single day - we are always looking for ways, always looking for effective mediation. And this applies to all our prisoners - both military and civilians, defenders of Azovstal, and all other Ukrainian military personnel, defenders," Zelenskyy says.

He notes that the process is very complex and sensitive. But the task for Ukraine remains unchanged: to release all our people from Russian captivity.

The latest prisoner exchange

It is worth noting that this month Ukraine conducted the largest prisoner exchange with Russia since the full-scale war began. In total, 230 Ukrainian soldiers were successfully brought home.

Among them were the defenders of Azovstal, who defended Mariupol from Russian occupiers at the beginning of the invasion.

However, among all the military personnel released from captivity, there were no soldiers from Azov who have been held captive since May 2022.