Ukraine and Russia carried out their largest prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict on February 24. 144 Ukrainians aged 19 and 65 years returned home as a result of the exchange. Under the swap, Russia released 59 soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine, including 43 from the Azov regiment which fought for Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant. Most of the released Ukrainians have severe injuries.
Russia – Ukraine War
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that began in 2014. The invasion caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than eight million Ukrainians fleeing the country and a third of the population displaced. The invasion also caused global food shortages. Russia invaded Ukraine as Ukraine wanted to join NATO.