American released in transfer between Ukraine, Russians -White House

National security spokesman Kirby added no further details but stated that the war is not likely to wind down before year's end.

 State flags of Ukraine, European Union and US flutter in central Kyiv, Ukraine December 6, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)
State flags of Ukraine, European Union and US flutter in central Kyiv, Ukraine December 6, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)

A US citizen has been released as part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, where the war is not likely to wind down before year's end, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday.

Kirby would not release additional details, citing privacy concerns. The head of Ukraine's presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, earlier identified the American as Suedi Murekezi.

No end in sight

Asked about prospects for negotiating an end to the war with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kirby said violent fighting continued.

"Just given what we're seeing in the air and on the ground in Ukraine, it's difficult to conclude that this war will be over by year's end," Kirby told reporters at a briefing.

"So there is active fighting going on right now. We would expect that that will continue for some time going forward."

 A view shows the city without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 23, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SODEL VLADYSLAV) A view shows the city without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 23, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SODEL VLADYSLAV)

Without mentioning Putin or negotiations, Kirby warned against getting lulled into a belief that the harsh winter weather would curtail war maneuvers in the air or on the ground.

"While that is true, we have no expectation that the fighting will stop in the winter months to come," he said.