Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have been repatriated following a prisoner swap, officials on both sides said Saturday.
Ukraine’s top presidential aide Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians had been released.
The freed prisoners of war include soldiers who stayed in Mariupol during Moscow’s months-long siege that reduced the southern port city to ruins, as well as guerrilla fighters from the Kherson region and the eastern city of Bakhmut, he said. including snipers captured during intense fighting.
Meanwhile, Russian defense officials announced that 63 Russian servicemen had returned from Ukraine after being exchanged, including some “special category” prisoners who were released after mediation by the United Arab Emirates.
A statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday did not provide details about the “special category” prisoners.
At least three civilians have been killed in Ukraine over the past 24 hours as Russian forces attacked nine regions in the south, north and east of the country, regional governors reported on Ukrainian TV on Saturday morning.
Russian shelling and missile attacks killed two people and wounded 14 others in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, local governor Pavlo Kirilenko said in a Telegram update on Saturday morning.
The death toll includes one person killed and seven others injured after a Russian missile fell on the town of Turitsk in the Donetsk region on Friday. Kirilenko said 34 houses, two kindergartens, an outpatient clinic, a library, a cultural center and other buildings were damaged in the strike.
Seven teenagers were wounded by shrapnel when an anti-personnel mine exploded late Friday in the northeastern city of Izum, local governor Oleh Sinihobov said on Telegram. He said that all of them are admitted to the hospital but their lives are not in danger.
Elsewhere, regional Ukrainian authorities reported overnight shelling of border settlements in the northern Sumy region, as well as the town of Marahanet, which neighbors the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Kyiv has long accused Moscow of using the plant, which was seized by Russian forces at the start of the war, as a base to launch attacks on Ukrainian-held territory across the Dnieper River. was as
Elsewhere, Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa and surrounding areas were plunged into darkness after a massive network failure, the country’s grid operator reported.
Ukrainergo said in a Telegram update that the failure involved “repeated repairs” of equipment following Russia’s brutal attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid, and that residents should brace themselves for prolonged blackouts.
“Unfortunately, the scale of the accident is significant, and this time, the power supply restrictions will be prolonged. It is not yet possible to determine a specific time when (power) will be fully restored,” the company said.
Prime Minister Denis Schmihal said the Energy Ministry was sending “all the power generators it has” to Odessa “within 24 hours” and that both Ukraine’s energy minister and the head of Ukrainergo were in Odessa to oversee the repair work. were going .
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