Ukraine brings home 130 military in Easter prisoner exchange

File picture (AFP)

A total of 130 Ukrainian prisoners of war have been released and returned home in a "great Easter exchange", a senior Ukrainian presidential official said on Sunday, the day of Orthodox Easter.

Ukrainian and Russian forces have held regular prisoner exchanges during Moscow's invasion, now in its 14th month. Russia holds swathes of territory in Ukraine's east and south.

"We are bringing back 130 of our people. It (the exchange) has been taking place in several stages over the past few days," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief of staff Andriy Yermak said on the Telegram messaging app.

It was not clear how many Russians were sent back the other way.

Yermak said those returning home included military, border guards, national guard members, sailors and employees of the state border guard.

The exchange was the second large prisoner swap in the past week. On Monday, Russia and Ukraine said they carried out a major prisoner swap with 106 Russian prisoners of war being freed in exchange for 100 Ukrainians. Read full story

Ukraine said on Friday it had also retrieved the bodies of 82 of its soldiers from Russian-controlled territory.

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