Ukraine-Russia war: Steel plant defenders, Putin ally in prisoner swap

Ukraine announced a high-profile prisoner swap early Thursday that culminated months of efforts to free many of the Ukrainian fighters who defended a steel plant in Mariupol during a long Russian siege. In exchange, Ukraine gave up an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Volodymr Zelenskky said his government had won freedom from Russian custody for 215 Ukrainian and foreign citizens. He said many were soldiers and officers who had faced the death penalty in Russian-occupied territory. Russia officials didn't immediately confirm or otherwise comment on the swap. Of the total, 200 Ukrainians were exchanged for just one man pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, who is Ukrainian. The 68-year-old oligarch escaped from house arrest in Ukraine several days before Russia's invasion on February 24 but was recaptured in April. He faced up to life in prison on charges of treason and aiding and abetting a terrorist organization for mediating coal purchases for the .

Ukraine-Russia war: Steel plant defenders, Putin ally in prisoner swap
Ukraine announced a high-profile prisoner swap early Thursday that culminated months of efforts to free many of the Ukrainian fighters who defended a steel plant in Mariupol during a long Russian siege. In exchange, Ukraine gave up an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Volodymr Zelenskky said his government had won freedom from Russian custody for 215 Ukrainian and foreign citizens. He said many were soldiers and officers who had faced the death penalty in Russian-occupied territory. Russia officials didn't immediately confirm or otherwise comment on the swap. Of the total, 200 Ukrainians were exchanged for just one man pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, who is Ukrainian. The 68-year-old oligarch escaped from house arrest in Ukraine several days before Russia's invasion on February 24 but was recaptured in April. He faced up to life in prison on charges of treason and aiding and abetting a terrorist organization for mediating coal purchases for the .