Ukraine Govt, Separatists Exchange 200 Prisoners

Plane arrives near Kyiv carrying freed captives

A planeload of freed captives arrived just outside of Kyiv today, as Ukraine’s government and eastern separatists carried out a prisoner swap of approximately 200 people, a move seen as a potential confidence-builder for more peace talks.

The Kyiv plane included 12 soldiers and 64 civilians, met by family members and celebrants. The freed also included two journalists from Radio Free Europe. Not everyone is happy with the exchange, however.

Many nationalists in Ukraine oppose deals with the separatists in general, and objected in particular to freeing five policeman who were captured after the 2014 rebellion.

The 2014 rebellion saw a pro-Russian government ousted in favor of a pro-Western government. Subsequent moves against ethnic Russians in Ukraine led to a rebellion in the far east, which is mostly Russian, and the separatist movement has continued for years.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.