Victorious news of 679th day of war: Ukraine returns 230 POWs, Russian general killed, Russia's largest diamond producer sanctioned
The largest exchange of prisoners of war since the beginning of the full-scale invasion took place, a Russian general was killed in Ukraine, and the EU imposed sanctions on Russia's largest diamond producer
Ukraine holds the largest prisoner of war exchange
On January 3, Ukraine managed to return 230 Ukrainians from Russian captivity, including the defenders of Mariupol and Zmiinyi Island. This was reported by Dmytro Lubinets and the Coordination Center for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
This is the 49th exchange of prisoners of war since the beginning of the full-scale war. In particular, 213 soldiers and sergeants, as well as 11 officers, finally returned home. Among them are 130 representatives of the Armed Forces (14 from the Army and 14 from the Navy), 55 from the National Guard, 38 from the State Border Guard Service, and 1 from the National Police. This is the largest exchange of prisoners of war since the beginning of the full-scale war.
Among those returned from captivity are 48 people who were considered missing.
Russian general Trifonov killed in the war in Ukraine
On January 3, Russian General Igor Trifonov was killed in the war in Ukraine. This was reported by the Russian publication Kommersant.
Igor Trifonov is the former head of the Yekaterinburg police. He went to war in Ukraine not from the ranks of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but from a penal colony. In 2022, Trifonov was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison in a case of bribery and illegal possession of weapons. The bribe-taking general had been seeking a contract with the Defense Ministry for a long time. According to his lawyer, he was sent to war with Ukraine at the end of 2023.
Russia's largest diamond producer is under sanctions
The European Union on Wednesday added Alrosa, which accounts for more than 90% of Russia's diamond production, and its CEO Pavel Marynychev to its sanctions list.
“The new listings target the company PJSC Alrosa and its CEO Pavel Alekseevich Marinychev. PJSC Alrosa is the largest diamond-mining company in the world, owned by the Russian state and accounts for over 90% of all Russian diamond production, and the company constitutes an important part of an economic sector that is providing substantial revenue to the government of the Russian Federation,” the statement says.
According to the statement, the sanctions were imposed because the activities of the company and its director undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They are in addition to the 12-pack of EU economic sanctions against Russia, which include a ban on imports of Russian diamonds.
A record number of transplantation surgeries were performed in Lviv
In 2023, surgeons at the First Medical Association of Lviv performed 128 transplantation procedures. This is a record number for a single medical institution in Ukraine.
According to the Lviv City Council, last year Lviv doctors transplanted 128 donor organs: 12 hearts, 95 kidneys, 17 livers, 2 lungs, and for the first time in Ukraine, one pancreas and kidney complex. The doctors also performed the first heart-lung transplant in Ukraine and a successful split liver transplant.
Most of the transplants were performed jointly with specialists from Feofania Hospital, the Heart Institute of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, and the Shalimov National Institute of Surgery and Transplantation of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine.