American prisoner of war freed in Russia-Ukraine mass prisoner swap
Murekezi claims that he was kept in a Russian “torture chamber” for a few weeks during the early stages of the war
December 14, 2022 7:46pm
Updated: February 24, 2023 10:49am
The Ukrainian military has obtained the release of an American prisoner of war during a mass prisoner swap with Russia, the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration said on Wednesday.
Suedi Murekezi, 35, had lived in the Ukrainian city of Kherson for at least two years before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February. He was arrested by Russian forces in June after he was suspected of being a CIA operative.
This week, Ukrainian and Russian soldiers met just outside Zaporizhzhia during a two-hour ceasefire to exchange prisoners. Murekezi was one of the prisoners who were exchanged during the swap, ABC News reported…
Murekezi claims that he was kept in a Russian “torture chamber” for a few weeks during the early stages of the war. During his time there, he was subjected to electric shocks and provided with minimal food and water.
Russia’s state-owned news agency TASS reported that authorities charged Murekezi with “inciting ethnic hatred” and was accused of being a CIA operative.
Murekezi was then moved to a prison in Donetsk, where he was kept for three months before he was released. However, he had no way to leave the Russia-controlled territory because he did not have his passport.
In addition to Murekezi, Ukrainian forces secured the release of 64 soldiers and five slain Ukrainians. Murekezi and the rest were being taken back to Kyiv, reported The Hill.
Murekezi, born in Rwanda in 1985, fled with his family from the African country after the genocide and relocated to Minnesota. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he settled permanently in Ukraine in 2020.
Another POWs swap. 64 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who fought in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, are going home.— Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) December 14, 2022
Also, we managed to free a US citizen who helped our people – Suedi Murekezi. And we got home bodies of four KIAs. pic.twitter.com/qKqbGpwV6x