Russia and Ukraine announced Wednesday an exchange of hundreds of prisoners of war, in the first exchange in months.

“At the end of a complex negotiation process, 248 Russian servicemen were repatriated from territory controlled by the kyiv regime,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement posted on Telegram. For months, the Ukrainian government accused Moscow of undermining negotiations to exchange prisoners.

“More than 200 of our soldiers and civilians returned from Russian captivity,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky celebrated on Telegram, along with a video of uniformed men in full celebration.

According to Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets, 230 Ukrainian soldiers were exchanged in the exchange, the 49th since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine in February 2022. In total, “2,828 [Ukrainian] defenders have returned to their houses” since the conflict began, Lubinets said.

Ukrainian media indicate that the last exchange took place in August. According to kyiv and Moscow, the exchange was achieved with the mediation of the United Arab Emirates, an important partner of Russia on several humanitarian, economic and energy issues.