Day 253: Ukraine secures release of 107 service members, including 74 Mariupol defenders in prisoner swap

Ukraine secures release of 107 service members, of whom 74 are Mariupol defenders

One hundred and seven Ukrainian service members were freed as Ukraine and Russia swapped prisoners on Thursday, November 3. 

Ukraine got back six officers, and 101 soldiers and sergeants who are service members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Navy, territorial defense force, State Border Guard Service, National Police, State Special Transport Service and National Guard including three members of the Azov regiment. Many of the released fighters were injured, suffering from amputated limbs, burns, and infected wounds. One serviceman was wounded in a Russian attack on a prison in Olenivka. On October 29, Ukraine secured the release of 50 service members and two civilians as it swapped prisoners with Russia. Ukraine had returned 1,031 people since the invasion, President Zelenskyi then said.

Russian flag removed from administration building in Kherson. Ukrainian troops suspect provocation

The Russian flag had been removed from the regional administration building in Kherson, first deputy head of the Kherson regional council Yuriy Sobolevskyi said on the morning of November 3. Removal of the tricolored Russian flag can be a deception to create the illusion that the Russian forces are pulling back from Ukraine’s south, head of the joint press center of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine Nataliya Humenyuk said on television. 

“It can be a provocation to create an illusion that [the Russian forces] have pulled back from the towns and villages and that it’s safe to enter them. Considering the fact that they have been preparing for the street fighting for a long time, the way they position their units, we are aware of the planned tactics and should not be in a hurry to rejoice. The hybrid war is also about deceptions to weaken the troops,” Humenyuk said.

Ukraine not to participate in G20 summit if Putin attends

Ukraine will refuse participation in the G20 summit in Indonesia on November 15-16 if Russian President Putin attends, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said at a joint briefing with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Ukrinform said.

“I am not up to date with who participates in the G20 summit. My personal position and that of Ukraine is that if the leader of the Russian Federation participates, then Ukraine will not participate. We’ll see how it goes in the future,” Zelenskyi said.

Zelenskyi remarked that on November 3, during a phone call with Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia, Ukraine was once again invited to the G20 summit. “We were invited once again today. We’ll wait and see – there are only a few days left,” he said.

In late October, when making a speech at the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin claimed that he may visit the G20 Summit but he would “give it more thought”.

Ukraine’s Bucha: atrocities and rebirth. Ukraine in Flames #238

Deputy head of Bucha regional state (military) administration Kostiantyn Katayev, head of the Dmytrivka village council Taras Didych, and first deputy of the head of the community council within the Bucha regional state (military) administration in the Kyiv region Olha Kvasova discuss the damages and rebirth of Bucha in the Kyiv region.