Big prisoner swap confirmed - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Big prisoner swap confirmed


 It's the biggest exchange of prisoners since the pro-Russian insurgency flared up in eastern Ukraine in April.

   Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russia rebels have exchanged nearly 370 prisoners today -- a major step toward easing hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

   According to a Russian state news agency, Ukraine handed over 222 prisoners and the rebels released 145 people. Hundreds of others were released during previous months.

   The exchange had been tentatively planned for earlier this week, and the initial failure to conduct it pushed back another round of Ukraine peace talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The talks were set for today but were adjourned indefinitely.

   Fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces, volunteer battalions and pro-Russia separatists has claimed more than 4,700 lives since last spring.

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