Ukrainian Zelenskyy calls for help to pressure Russia for prisoner swap

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on his country’s allies to pressure Russia to exchange prisoners.

“The exchange of people – it’s a humanitarian issue today and a very political decision that depends on the support of many states,” he said in a video Q&A at the World Economic Forum on Monday.

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Zelenskyy said it was important to politically pressure Russia to “actively step up the exchange of [Ukrainian] people for the Russian military.”

“We don’t need the Russian military, we only need our own,” he noted. “We are ready for an exchange tomorrow.”

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shown on a screen as he addresses the audience in kyiv on a screen during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Monday, May 23, 2022.
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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shown on a screen as he addresses the audience in kyiv on a screen during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Monday, May 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Several thousand people are detained by Russia in Mariupol and the Donbass region, according to Zelenskyy.

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Ukrainian authorities reported on Tuesday that workers found 200 bodies in the basement of an apartment building in Mariupol.

Russia’s war marked its third month on Tuesday, without a quick victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported 8,533 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 3,942 dead and 4,591 injured.

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However, the actual numbers are believed to be considerably higher.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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