Ukraine and Russia agree on prisoner swap

The Ukrainian and Russian governments have agreed to exchange a number of prisoners of war, the Ukrainian government has announced.

The deal will see 208 people linked to separatist forces in Donbass currently in Ukrainian jails traded for 69 Ukrainians held captive by pro-Kremlin forces.

The agreement was reached within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) in Minsk.

According to Roman Bezsmertny, a Ukrainian member of the TCG’s political subgroup, the date for the prisoner swap has not yet been set.

Earlier this week, Vadym Prystaiko, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky and his nominee for foreign minister, said the exchange could take place before August.

Besides calling on Russia to release Ukrainian POWs taken captive after last year’s so-called Kerch Strait incident, the Ukrainian president said that he is ready to swap Ukrainian film director and Russia-held political prisoner Oleg Sentsov for Kirill Vyshinsky, former chief of RIA Novosti’s Kyiv office.