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Donetsk, Kiev complete 1st E. Ukraine prisoner swap this year

Donetsk, Kiev complete 1st E. Ukraine prisoner swap this year

The first prisoner exchange in 2020 between the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Ukraine has been completed, according to an envoy to the Contact Group’s humanitarian subgroup and DPR Human Rights Commissioner Darya Morozova. “The exchange is over,” she was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The prisoner swap took place in the area close to the Gorlovka-Mayorsk checkpoint on the contact line and no incidents were reported. Due to risks relating to coronavirus, law enforcement officers and prisoners wore protective masks and tried to maintain the necessary social distance.

During the swap, Donetsk handed over nine people, and Kiev handed over 10, TASS quoted Boris Gryzlov, the Russian envoy to the Contact Group on the Donbass settlement, as saying on Thursday.

It was the first swap of 2020 and the third during the presidency of Volodymyr Zelensky. He was elected last year promising, among other things, to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Zelensky agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin in December to send prisoners home, and scores were swapped just before the end of last year.