Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists begin prisoner swap

Kyiv: Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists on Sunday began an all-for-all prisoner swap in a move aimed at de-escalating 5-year long war in the country.

As part of the deal, the separatists would hand over 55 prisoners to Kyiv, while receiving 87 of their followers in exchange, Russia Today reported.

The deal in this regard was reached upon between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukraine counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky during a face-to-face meeting earlier this month.

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Russia and Ukraine have been in a conflict since 2014 when the former annexed Crimea.

Ukraine blames the Kremlin for separatist violence in east Ukraine. Zelensky, a comedian-turned-politician, was elected earlier this year on a promise to resolve the conflict in the region.

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