Multiple Russian news outlets report that Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists have begun prisoner exchange in eastern Ukraine. This prisoner swap is seen as a key part of implementing the Minsk agreements which is a framework for peace that is intended to bring about a ceasefire between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists who are fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko supported the prisoner swap. He said that: “Nothing is more important than to return our people home.” Martin Sajdik, of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, has also hailed the exchange.
“This is a deeply humanitarian gesture, even more so on the occasion of Christmas and New Year,” he said in a statement on Tuesday, before the exchange began. “I call upon the sides to provide conditions of dignity and respect for each of the persons to be exchanged.”
SEE ALSO: Kasparov warns of Trump-Putin relationship.