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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke by phone to express their satisfaction over a prisoner-of-war swap between Moscow and Kyiv facilitated by Riyadh, the Kremlin said Friday.

During a phone call late Thursday the two leaders expressed “satisfaction in connection with the transfer to Saudi Arabia of foreign citizen prisoners of war… that took place with the personal mediation of the crown prince”, it said.

As part of the exchange, Ukraine received 215 of its troops, including fighters who led the defence of Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks.

Ten prisoners of war from other countries, including the United States and Britain, were transferred to Saudi Arabia.

NATO chief slams Putin’s ‘reckless nuclear rhetoric’

Russia received 55 prisoners including Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and ally of Putin accused of high treason.

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