Ten international prisoners of war captured by Russian forces in Ukraine were released by Russia in a Saudi-brokered deal announced on September 21.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the group included citizens from the UK, the US, Sweden, Croatia and Morocco.
In a statement, the ministry said the Saudi government was “grateful” to Russia and Ukraine “for their response to the efforts made by the Crown Prince for the release of the POWs.”
Footage shared by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) shows Saudi officials greeting the POWs on a tarmac.
Five of the POWs were British nationals, according to UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.
“Hugely welcome news that five British nationals held by Russian-backed proxies in eastern Ukraine are being safely returned, ending months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families,” Truss said.
Among those released was Aiden Aslin, a British national captured while serving with Ukrainian forces during the siege of Mariupol. Aslin, also known as Cossack Gundi, had faced execution, the BBC reported, citing claims made by his family.
Aslin can be seen shaking hands with officials in the footage released by SPA. Credit: Saudi Press Agency via Storyful