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Russian shelling continues in Lysychansk, 144 soldiers exchanged in prisoner of war swap
Updated: 2022-06-30 17:07:02 KST
Over in Ukraine, shelling from Russian forces continues in the eastern city of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region.
Serhiy Hayday, the head of the regional military administration, on Wednesday said that the fighting is continuing on the outskirts of the city and that Russian forces are "trying to storm constantly".
Around 15-thousand people are in the city, despite recommendations for them to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Ukraine on Wednesday carried out its largest exchange of prisoners of war since the beginning of the invasion, recovering 1-hundred-44 soldiers captured by Russia.
95 of them were stationed at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

"I would like to tell my loved ones that I will be back with them very soon. The emotions are overwhelming, but the journey was very difficult, because it was one of many attempts to return home."

The Ukrainian government released an equal number of soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Russia in exchange.

Meanwhile, the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report Wednesday about the situation in Ukraine.
According to the report, since the beginning of the invasion on February 24th up until May 15th, there were over 8-thousand civilian casualties in Ukraine.
But according to an update by the UN office this week, as of Monday, the number is at 10,6-hundred-31.
The UN said it believes that the actual number is considerably higher as the update only includes the figures the mission was able to independently verify.

Meanwhile, NATO on Wednesday formally invited the longtime neutral Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.
The bloc collectively decided to approve the countries' applications to join after Turkey dropped its objections Tuesday.
The decision will now go to the 30 member states' parliaments and legislatures for final ratification.
In response, President Putin warned that Russia would respond with threats similar in kind if "NATO troops and infrastructure are deployed" to Finland and Sweden.
Lee Shi-hoo, Arirang News
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