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Reuters | Russia, Ukraine announce major surprise prisoner swap, 22 Sep
Russia and Ukraine carried out an unexpected prisoner swap on Wednesday, the largest since the war began and involving almost 300 people, including 10 foreigners and the commanders who led a prolonged Ukrainian defence of Mariupol earlier this year.

The foreigners released included two Britons and a Moroccan who had been sentenced to death in June after being captured fighting for Ukraine. Also freed were three other Britons, two Americans, a Croatian, and a Swedish national.
Zelensk* thanked Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for his help and said five senior Ukrainian commanders would remain in Turkey until the end of the war.

death row
Saudi Arabia brokered an arrangement whereby the 10 foreigners were flown to Saudi Arabia. The mediation involved Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has maintained close TIES WITH PUTIN.

The freed prisoners included U.S. citizens Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, both from Alabama, who were captured in June while fighting in eastern Ukraine. Also freed were Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner[,] and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun, who were all sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic....

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on September 20, 2022
Hubei Media Group: We have learned that the second Middle East Security Forum will be held in Beijing on September 21 in an online-plus-offline format by the China Institute of International Studies. Can you share more information? 
Wang Wenbin: The world has entered a new period of volatility and transformation. The Middle East is facing new security challenges. China attaches great importance to peace and security in the Middle East....
by Cat on Thu Sep 22nd, 2022 at 04:10:10 PM EST
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Guardian | British Man released by Russia says he was 'treated worse than dog', 25 Sep war crime gothic
forced to sing the Russian national anthem every morning, and if they did not comply they would be "punished for it. You would get beaten."...

having fallen in love with a Ukrainian woman, Diane Okovyta, and joined the marines ...

slept on a mat infested with lice and cockroaches. Because there was no toilet....

survived for three weeks by eating pieces of bread and water. The only time he was let out of his cell was to do propaganda or take phone calls....

captors threatened to cut off his ear. He was beaten for having a tattoo of a Ukrainian trident...

a Russian who was guarding Aslin then asked him: "Do you want a quick death or a beautiful death?"

[Aiden] Aslin said he responded that he wanted a quick death but was told: "You're going to have a beautiful death[,] and I'm going to make sure it's a beautiful death."

After being was reunited with his mother and his  fiancée this week, Aslin said: "I never thought I'd get out alive."
by Cat on Sun Sep 25th, 2022 at 06:29:43 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 25th, 2022 at 07:19:09 PM EST
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