Photo from UNIAN

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine has said 227 Ukrainians are still illegally held in the occupied territories.

"The SBU effort to release Ukrainian nationals is underway, since 227 Ukrainians are still illegally held in the occupied territories," the SBU's press center reported.

Read alsoZelensky announces second stage of Ukraine-Russia prisoner swap

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It is noted the SBU has been integrated in the process of Ukrainian prisoner release since the early days of Russian aggression.

"Since 2014, 3,280 Ukrainians have returned home to their families from Russia and temporarily occupied territories," reads the report.

As UNIAN reported earlier, 11 Ukrainian political prisoners and 24 captured sailors returned to Ukraine on Saturday as part of a long-awaited prisoner swap.

At the same time, 35 people convicted in Ukraine for various crimes or involved in criminal proceedings returned to Russia.

Following the arrival of Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the first stage of ending the war in Donbas had been implemented.