Ukraine ready to exchange prisoners with Russia: Zelensky

KIEV, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that his country stands ready for an all-for-all prisoner exchange with Russia before the end of hostilities, the presidential press service reported.

"I believe that there is an agreement to exchange everyone for everyone, we have this number -- let's exchange for this number," Zelensky said in an interview with Russian media.

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during an interview with independent Russian news media from Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Photo: AP)

He also noted that Ukraine wants to hand over the corpses of Russian soldiers to their relatives.

On Thursday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Ukraine and Russia conducted the first prisoner swap since the start of the conflict.

Ten Ukrainians held by the Russian military were released in exchange for ten Russian soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine also handed over to Russia 11 civilian Russian sailors, who were rescued from a sunken ship near Odesa, in exchange for 19 Ukrainian civilian sailors, according to Vereshchuk.