Ukraine, separatist rebels agree on major prisoner exchange
MOSCOW (AP) — Ukrainian authorities and separatist rebels have agreed on a major prisoner exchange.
Separatist leaders and a Ukrainian government representative said in televised comments on Monday that they would exchange prisoners on Wednesday. They spoke after a meeting in Moscow mediated by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Kiev representative Viktor Medvedchuk says Ukraine is ready to release 306 people and is hoping for the separatists to release 74 people. It is not immediately clear if this covers all prisoners of war.
A simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russia-backed separatists and government troops has killed more than 10,000 since 2014. A truce signed in 2015 stipulated an exchange of all prisoners but both sides are believed to keep dozens, if not hundreds, captive and use them as bargaining tools.