'Ukraine and rebels exchange prisoners'

World December 25, 2017 13:39

moscow - The Ukrainian government and separatist insurgents have agreed to exchange prisoners on Wednesday. Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church announced this after conversations with the leaders of the so-called People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Separatist leader Aleksander Zachartsjenko from Donetsk said that the Ukrainian authorities released 306 prisoners. The rebels let 74 people go. The Minsk agreement from 2015 already provided for such a prisoner exchange, but so far only prisoners have been exchanged on a small scale.

Ukrainian government forces have been fighting against separatist insurgents in the east of the country since 2014. Over ten thousand people have died as a result of the conflict. Kiev accuses Moscow of sending heavy weapons and troops to the region. The Russians deny that.

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