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A dog stolen by Russians and subsequently sent off to Vladimir Putin's warlord pal has been freed as part of a New Years prisoner exchange.
American Pit Bull terrier Akin had been taken from a Ukrainian servicewoman in June, and given away by the stealing troops to ruthless Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov.
But as part of a New Year prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, it would appear that Akin is set to be reunited with his owner and his country as Russians released the pup from their captivity.
READ MORE: Russian troops mown down in WW1-style fighting as 'human wave' sent to attack
Alongside Akin were 140 Ukrainian soldiers, all of which were freed as part of a New Years trade between the warring countries.
Akin the dog had been taken prisoner during the siege of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, with his owner among the hundreds of defenders positioned in Mairupol.
One Twitter user posted a photo of Akin and announced the news of his release, saying: "Ukraine needs everyone! A pit bull terrier, who was defending Mariupol together with our soldiers, was released from RuZZsian captivity!"
Said prisoner swap saw over 200 soldiers traded back to their home countries, with 140 Ukrainian troops and 82 Russian soldiers released.
Russia's Defence Ministry announced that the 82 troops had been received following their release from Ukrainian forces.
Russian propagandist slammed after New Year's wish that 'Kyiv will become uninhabitable'
The 140 total, consisting of 132 men and eight women, has seen those fighting at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works released, with many of them said to have been wounded in the conflict.
Hundreds of captured soldiers have been transferred back and forth despite the diplomatic talks between Vladimir Putin and Volodymy Zelenskyy's parties grinding to a halt, Daily Mail reported.
Ukrainian military personnel who had recently been released were seen pouring out of a bus wearing their military fatigues, with many members of the recently released group seen breaking down as they hugged loved ones.
Soldiers were seen shouting "Glory to Ukraine" as they celebrated their release from Russian captivity.
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