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Ukraine Hopes to Return Russian-Captured Sailors From Zmiinyi Island, - Vereshchuk

They are going to be exchanged for Russian sailors.

Ukraine Hopes to Return Russian-Captured Sailors From Zmiinyi Island, - Vereshchuk

Deputy Prime Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk said that Ukraine hopes to return Russian-captured sailors from Zmiinyi Island.

In an interview with Public, Vereshchuk said that Ukrainians are being exchanged for Russian sailors.

"They (Russia) have expressed a desire to take back their sailors, who, by the way, were rescued because they drowned in the Black Sea. And I hope that we will take our sailors back soon. But the fact is that there are not only sailors, but, as it turned out , 92 people, whom they captured, if I'm not mistaken,"said the Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories.

Vereshchuk said that she had been approached by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Tatiana Moskalkova, regarding the possibility of a parity exchange: a sailor for a sailor, a driver for a driver.

"I say - okay, but tell me, please, who should we replace with our mayors, who were captured by the occupiers? We also need to capture your civilians? What should we do if you talk about parity exchange? Prisoners of war, they have the order of an exchange, there are cards which are submitted by the Russian Federation and those which we submit ", - Vereshchuk told.

On 24 February, Russia attacked Zmiinyi Island from ships. The occupiers fired on the island and demanded that Ukrainian border guards surrender.

After the shelling of Zmiinyi, communication with border guards and soldiers of the Armed Forces was lost. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported that Zmiinyi Island had been captured.

On 25 February, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the people and stressed that 13 Ukrainian border guards who died at the battle defending the Zmiinyi Island from the Russian occupiers will be posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.

On 26 February, Russian media reported that Ukrainian servicemen on the island had been taken to Sevastopol, which was temporarily occupied by Russia.

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