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 "Another two Ukrainians freed," - MP Iryna Herashchenko on swap of Soloshenko and Afanasiev. PHOTOS

Verkhovna Rada Deputy Speaker Iryna Herashchenko and spokesman to the president of Ukraine Sviatoslav Tseholko unveil first details of the release of Ukrainian political prisoners Hennadii Afanasiev and Yurii Soloshenko from the Kremlin’s captivity.

Censor.NET reports citing statements on their Facebook pages.

"Kyiv: we are departing to fetch our guys. Moscow, two hours later: they are already on board! We'll disclose all the details of this glorious day in a few hours.

"Yurii Soloshenko and Hennadii Afanasiev are departing to Kyiv. The president's assignment is accomplished. Another two Ukrainians are liberated. Me, Tseholko and all those involved are very happy!" Herashchenko wrote.

Read more: Afanasiev and Soloshenko depart from Moscow to Ukraine, - Poroshenko

"'We are finally on the Ukrainian territory!" that were the first words of Yurii Soloshenko and Hennadii Afanasiev when they got on board the Ukrainian military plane. Departing from Moscow to Kyiv," Tseholko added.

геращенко солошенко цеголко афанасьевгеращенко солошенко цеголко афанасьев

As reported, since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Kremlin has captured several Ukrainian citizens hostages. Exact number of Ukrainian prisoners of the Kremlin is not known. At the moment, officials say, about 20 Ukrainians are kept political prisoners in Russian jails or pre-trial facilities, including in the territory of occupied Crimea. The story of Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko, who had been kidnapped, tried, sentenced, and released, is the most well-known case.

Hennadii Afanasiev and Yurii Soloshenko are among Ukrainian political prisoners still held by the Kremlin. Afanasiev was sentenced in Russia on politically motivated 'case of Sentsov-Kolchenko' to seven years in colony. The case is a criminal proceeding against Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov,sentenced to 20 years in colony for an alleged organization of a terrorist group in occupied Crimea. Afanasiev testified against other defendants, but later withdrew his testimony and announced tortures during interrogations.

Yurii Soloshenko has been sentenced in Russia to six years in colony for espionage. When in prison, he was diagnosed with cancer.

See more: Savchenko discussed liberation of prisoners with UN Assistant Secretary-General Šimonović. PHOTO

After Nadiia Savchenko was released from captivity, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced of agreements to return Afanasiev and Soloshenko to Ukraine. He then said it could happen in June. It became known later that political prisoners Afanasiev and Soloshenko filed petitions for mercy to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 
 
 
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