Five British nationals held by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine have been safely returned, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has said, according to The Guardian.
It quoted her as saying in a tweet: "Hugely welcome news that five British nationals held by Russian-backed proxies in eastern Ukraine are being safely returned, ending months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families."
She thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his efforts to secure the release of detainees and Saudi Arabia for their assistance.
"Russia must end the ruthless exploitation of prisoners of war and civilian detainees for political ends," Truss added.
The Saudi Press Agency, for its part, reported: " Based on the priority given by HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, and in continuation of HRH's commitment to the humanitarian initiatives towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and resulting from HRH's continued engagement with the relevant countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces the success of HRH's mediation efforts that led to the release of ten prisoners of war (POWs) – who are Moroccan, US, UK, Swedish and Croatian nationals, who are being released as part of an exchange of POWs between Russia and Ukraine."
The relevant Saudi authorities received and transferred them from Russia to the Kingdom and are facilitating procedures for their safe return to their respective countries, it added.