Russia and Ukraine have conducted another prisoner exchange and 41 people, including 28 military members, were released, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said on Friday.
In a statement on her Telegram channel, Irina Vereshchuk said it is "especially gratifying" that among those released includes a Ukrainian Orthodox Church priest.
Russia’s war on Ukraine, which began in February, has left thousands dead or wounded, and forced more than 5.7 million people to flee abroad.
Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation” to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine. For Western countries, however, it is a war of aggression, and they have imposed severe sanctions in response.
While attempts to evacuate Mariupol civilians out of the city's besieged Azovstal steel plant are still ongoing, EU members are negotiating the next round of sanctions against Russia.