Russia and Ukraine announced a prisoner swap, with around 200 prisoners of war from both sides being returned, amid warnings by Kiev to its allies about the huge shortages many axes, particularly in Donbass, And mutual shelling and fighting continues in Advikka. Ammunition among your armies.
Moscow and Kiev simultaneously announced a prisoner swap yesterday, Wednesday, the fifth of its kind in two years, Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets announced.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the prisoner swap involved 195 Russian soldiers in exchange for an approximately equal number of Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the return of 207 Ukrainian soldiers who were taken prisoner by Russia and released under the agreement.
Yesterday evening, Wednesday, Zelensky confirmed in a speech that more than 3,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war have now returned to Ukraine over the past two years.
“Our soldiers have returned to the country,” Zelensky said in a post on social media, and promised to return all Ukrainian prisoners to their countries, whether they are soldiers or civilians.
In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the prisoner exchange process, and stressed that Moscow wants to return all of its prisoners detained in Kiev.
Moscow said the exchange was brokered by the United Arab Emirates, which had played a role in several previous similar operations.
Last week, a Russian military plane crashed under mysterious circumstances near the Ukrainian border, killing all passengers on board.
Moscow has confirmed that Kiev shot down the plane carrying 74 people, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were due to be exchanged.
20 Ukrainian missiles were shot down
The exchange took place as mutual bombardment and fighting continued on multiple fronts. The Russian Defense Ministry announced yesterday evening, Wednesday, that it had destroyed 20 missiles launched by Ukraine in the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula, and reported that debris from some of the missiles fell on the peninsula.
The ministry said in a statement that Russian air defenses “destroyed 17 Ukrainian missiles over the Black Sea and 3 over the Crimean Peninsula.”
Ukraine continues to target the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, because it is important for the Russian military in terms of military equipment.
On the other hand, Moscow continues to put pressure on Ukrainian defense lines, especially around Donbass and Advivka, the epicenter of the fighting, and around which violent fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has been taking place for months. There was huge loss.
Russian President Putin confirmed yesterday evening, Wednesday, that Russian forces are deployed on the outskirts of Advivka.
severe shortage of ammunition
In a related context, Ukraine warned its allies yesterday, Wednesday, that it is facing a serious shortage of artillery shells, and said that Russia is deploying three times more Ukrainian firepower on the front lines every day.
Defense Minister Rustam Umarov wrote to his counterparts in the European Union this week describing the severe shortage of ammunition and weapons his forces are facing as they fight off continued Russian attacks, the Bloomberg news agency said. Trying to.
It quotes Umarov as saying that Ukraine can fire no more than two thousand shells per day at the front line, which extends 1,500 kilometers, and that this is less than a third of the ammunition used by Russia. is low, as seen by a document. Bloomberg.
He said Ukraine needed to at least match the firepower used by its enemy, and stressed that “the side that has the most ammunition to fight usually wins. “
mobilizing support for Kyiv
Washington is trying to garner more support to provide Kiev with the ammunition, military equipment and financing it needs. In this context, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met in Washington with members of the European Commission, and stressed the need to supply funds to Ukraine. and weapons, while Congress is still discussing a new financial aid package for Kiev.
For her part, US envoy Victoria Nuland visited Ukraine yesterday, Wednesday, to reaffirm Washington's support for Kiev and expressed confidence that despite the US Congress's delay in providing more military aid to Ukraine, Ukraine will Will be successful in reviving the counter-attack.
For its part, the EU said at a meeting of defense ministers yesterday, Wednesday, that the Union will be able to produce one million shells annually, and expects to double its production capacity to two million shells in 2025. The United States is also working on increasing production of missiles to help Ukraine meet its needs.
But EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told reporters after the end of a meeting of European defense ministers that the union would be able to deliver only the half a million shells it had pledged to Kiev by the end of next March. And said, “We distributed 330,000 shells.”