- Title: East Ukraine rebels bring prisoners for exchange with Kiev
- Date: 29th December 2019
- Summary: HORLIVKA, DONETSK REGION, UKRAINE (DECEMBER 29, 2019) (REUTERS) REBEL SOLDIERS WAITING AHEAD OF PRISONER EXCHANGE SIGN READING (Russian): 'CUSTOMS AND BORDER CHECKPOINT 'HORLIVKA'' SOLDIERS WAITING NEXT TO PRISON VANS VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS NEXT TO VANS BARREL OF GUN VARIOUS OF MEN WHO WERE HELD BY PRO-RUSSIAN REBELS BEING WALKED FOR EXCHANGE WITH UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES MEN WAITING TO BE ESCORTED MEN BEING WALKED VARIOUS OF RED CROSS WORKERS AT SCENE VARIOUS OF ARMED MEN NEXT TO BARRIER
- Embargoed: 12th January 2020 15:40
- Keywords: Donetsk Horlivka Russia-Ukraine relations Ukraine conflict prisoner exchange prisoner swap
- Location: HORLIVKA, UKRAINE
- City: HORLIVKA, UKRAINE
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA001BC130W7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic brought prisoners to the Horlivka checkpoint in eastern Ukraine on Sunday (December 29) in preparation for the final all-for-all prisoner exchange.
The exchange is likely to be hailed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as proof he is making good on a promise to bring captured Ukrainians home.
The office of Ukraine's president said that 76 former pro-government detainees had returned home.
The swap had initially been expected see Ukraine hand over 87 separatists in exchange for 55 pro-government Ukrainians.
Though the swap will help build confidence between the two sides who are wrangling over how to implement a 2014 peace deal, serious disagreements remain and full normalisation is a long way off.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Zelenskiy prepared the ground for the exchange at a summit in Paris earlier this month.
Kiev's forces have been battling separatists in the Donbass region since 2014 in a conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives. Sporadic fighting continues despite a ceasefire agreement.
Relations between Ukraine and Russia collapsed following Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, and its subsequent support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Moscow denies allegations.
(Production: Sergei Kirichenko, Maria Vasilyeva, Margaryta Chornokondratenko)
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