Ukraine POWs humiliate Putin as female troops march out of captivity

Ukraine: Mariupol prisoner exchange discussed by expert

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Military analyst Professor Michael Clarke has praised the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian servicewomen who were exchanged with Russia during a recent prisoner swap. Professor Clarke described how the women, who survived the brutal siege of the Azovstal steel works, made a point of marching out in “good order” with “their heads held up.” 

Professor Clarke told Sky News: “There are prisoner exchanges a while ago, there were two hundred-odd men were exchanged, now one hundred odd women.

“All from the other Azovstal steel works, that big sort of resistance in Mariupol.

“What’s interesting about this, I mean, these exchanges are organised by the Red Cross who work very secretive, very importantly, but look, these women are coming out.

“Some of them are in combat [fatigues], some of them may have been given those combats, but look, they’re walking in line, they’re coming out, they’re almost marching. 

“They’re coming out in good order, they’re making a point we are the women from the Azovstal steelworks.”

He continued: “There were civilians got mixed in with the troops towards the end, it was all pretty awful but here they are, they’re holding their heads up.

“They’re coming out with pride and that’s making the point to the Russians and to the rest of the world.

“I always say that they’ll be making Hollywood films about what happened in Mariupol in years to come, these women will probably feature in it.”

Putin knows initial goal is ‘very unlikely’ says expert

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday urged his troops to take more prisoners, saying this would make it easier to secure the release of soldiers being held by Russia.

Mr Zelensky made his remarks hours after the two sides carried out one of the biggest prisoner swaps so far, exchanging a total of 218 detainees, including 108 Ukrainian women.

“I thank everyone involved in this success, and I also thank all those who replenish our exchange fund, who ensure the capture of enemies,” he said in an evening address.

“The more Russian prisoners we have, the sooner we will be able to free our heroes. 

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Every Ukrainian soldier, every front-line commander should remember this.”

Andriy Yermak, Zelenskiy chief of staff, said there were 12 civilians among the freed women.

“It was the first completely female exchange,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app, adding that 37 of the women had been captured after Russian forces took the giant Azovstal steelworks in the port city of Mariupol in May.

Separately, Ukraine’s interior ministry said some of the women had been in jail since 2019 after being detained by pro-Moscow authorities in eastern regions. Earlier, the Russian-appointed head of one of the regions said Kyiv was freeing 80 civilian sailors and 30 military personnel.

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