Defenders of Mariupol freed in Russian-Ukrainian prisoner exchange

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Brinken said in a statement that the U.S. appreciated Ukraine’s inclusion of U.S. citizens in the prisoner of war negotiations and called Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud to thank him. said he did. exchange role.


Later on Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities announced the release of a total of 215 prisoners, including foreign fighters and Azov battalion commanders who defended Mariupol, Ukraine, from inside a sprawling steel mill before surrendering to Russian forces in May. said it was secured. The prisoner exchange is the largest exchange since the beginning of the war.

Prime Minister Liz Truss said five British citizens detained in Ukraine by Russia-backed agents had been released, calling it “very welcome news”. The Truss thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Saudi Arabia for their assistance in securing the release of their citizens.

“Russia must end the ruthless exploitation of prisoners of war and interned civilians for political purposes,” she said.

The Saudi ministry said it was working to return those released to their home countries, including Morocco, Sweden and Croatia.

Robert Jenrick, a Conservative MP in the UK Parliament, wrote on Twitter that Aiden Aslin was among the prisoners released. Aslin’s hometown of Newark is located in Jenric’s district.

British citizen Aiden Aslin was sentenced to

Aslin, one of three men, including British citizen Sean Pinner and Moroccan Brahim Sadoon, was sentenced to death in June by a court in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine. Prosecutors have charged the three men with being mercenaries and terrorists who were trying to violently overthrow the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, one of two Russian-recognized separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

“Aiden’s return ends months of agonizing uncertainty for Aiden’s loving family in Newark, who struggled through each day of Aiden’s fake trial but never lost hope.” Jenrik writes, “When they are united as a family again, they can finally be at peace.”

Drueke, one of the freed Americans, was an avid hiker and lived on his family’s land in rural western Alabama before the war, but earlier statements by his family said his wanted to plan a “new adventure” with Diesel, a mastiff rescue dog. .


In April, before leaving for Ukraine, Huynh told WAAY-TV, an ABC affiliate in northern Alabama, that he decided to travel to Ukraine and fight after watching an 18-year-old fight for freedom. Told.

Huynh studied robotics. He enlisted soon after high school and served in the Marine Corps for four years.

“I know I could die,” he told WAAY-TV. “I am willing to give my life for what I believe is right.”

This article was originally new york times.

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Defenders of Mariupol freed in Russian-Ukrainian prisoner exchange

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