MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Russia and Ukraine exchanged the first prisoners of war, nine Russian servicemen were released, according to Human Rights Commissioner in Russia Tatyana Moskalkova.
"The first exchange happened. We returned nine of our boys," she said in an interview with RT, confirming that Russian servicemen were exchanged for the mayor of Melitopol.
Earlier, media reported on the exchange of nine Russian servicemen for the mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, citing the Office of the President of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had decided to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories.