Ukraine begins all-for-all prisoner swap with separatists

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Pro-Russian rebels, above, before a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists near the Mayorsk checkpoint on December 29, 2019. (AFP)
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Ukrainian servicemen man their posts at Odradivka near the Mayorsk checkpoint prior to a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels on December 29, 2019. (AFP)
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Updated 29 December 2019

Ukraine begins all-for-all prisoner swap with separatists

  • Agreement was concluded by Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Paris in December
  • Swap taking place at a check point near the industrial town of Horlivka in the Donetsk region

KIEV/MOSCOW: Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have started an all-for-all prisoner swap, after which all remaining prisoners of the five-year conflict should return home, the office of Ukraine’s president said on Sunday.
The agreement was concluded by Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Paris in December.
The swap is taking place at a check point near the industrial town of Horlivka in the Donetsk region.
Russia’s RIA news agency, citing a local official from the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, said Kiev would hand over 87 separatists, while Donetsk would return 55 pro-central government fighters.
Kiev’s forces have been battling separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives. Sporadic fighting continues despite a cease-fire agreement.
There have been several prisoner exchanges between Kiev and rebels. In the last swap, conducted in December 2017, Ukraine handed over about 300 captives to pro-Russian separatists and took back around 70.


Malaysia reports 19 new coronavirus cases, one new death

Updated 05 June 2020

Malaysia reports 19 new coronavirus cases, one new death

  • The health ministry also reported its first death in two weeks

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 19 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the cumulative total to 8,266 infections.
The health ministry also reported its first death in two weeks, raising the number of fatalities to 116.
Earlier on Friday, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled an additional economic stimulus package worth around $8.2 billion in a bid to revitalize industries badly hit by the pandemic.