Suedi Murekezi, U.S. veteran, freed in Ukraine-Russia prisoner swap

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Suedi Murekezi, a U.S. Air Pressure veteran whose household says he was captured by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine earlier this yr, has been freed in a prisoner swap, a senior Ukrainian official introduced Wednesday.

Murekezi was launched alongside 64 Ukrainian prisoners of conflict who had been combating within the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, Andriy Yermak, the pinnacle of Ukraine’s presidential workplace, wrote on Twitter. The our bodies of 4 different Ukrainians have been additionally repatriated, he added.

Murekezi was taken by pro-Russian forces within the southern metropolis of Kherson in early June, in keeping with his brother Sele Murekezi, who added that he had been falsely accused of collaborating in pro-Ukrainian protests. He mentioned that when the pair spoke in July, Suedi Murekezi talked about that he was being held within the separatist Donetsk Individuals’s Republic, alongside two different American nationals.

Air Pressure veteran detained by pro-Russian separatists, brother says

Born in Rwanda, Suedi Murekezi got here to america as an adolescent and went on to spent eight years within the Air Pressure, in keeping with his brother. He later moved to Ukraine in 2018 and was based mostly in Kherson — the primary main metropolis to fall to Russian forces following the Feb. 24 invasion, and which was not too long ago recaptured by Ukrainian forces.

In September, a number of international nationals, together with two U.S. veterans, 5 Britons and a Moroccan nationwide, have been among the many 300 prisoners launched by Russia in a prisoner swap. Three of the international prisoners had beforehand been sentenced to dying.

Because the tempo of prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine has accelerated in latest weeks, stories have emerged of the abuse detainees confronted whereas in Russian captivity.

One prisoner of conflict informed The Submit he was crushed so badly that his ribs have been damaged and his kidneys have been badly injured.

As Ukraine and Russia step up prisoner exchanges, scarred POWs inform of abuse

The information of the newest prisoner swap comes days after WNBA star Brittney Griner was freed by Moscow in alternate for Russian arms seller Viktor Bout. The US can also be making an attempt to safe the discharge of one other U.S. nationwide, Paul Whelan, who has been held in Russia for 4 years and has been sentenced to 16 years in jail on espionage costs that Washington has denounced as bogus.

Marisa Iati and Annabelle Timsit contributed to this report.

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