The Ukrainian leader greeted the prisoners who were released by the separatists in the town of Kramatorsk, hailing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for helping organize the swap. A series of truce deals has helped lower the level of violence, but did not end the bloodshed.
The exchange of prisoners was being carried out at a checkpoint near Horlivka, a city in the eastern Donetsk region.
The Office also expresses hope that all sides use this positive development to make progress on their remaining commitments under the Minsk Agreements, beginning with all sides adhering to the ceasefire; engaging cooperatively to reduce the humanitarian suffering of civilians on both sides of the line of contact; and Russian Federation withdrawing its weapons and personnel from eastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian side released 233 rebels and their supporters, officials from both sides said.
The prisoners massed at the exchange point with their belongings, shivering in zero temperatures, before boarding buses after their names had been called out.
"I was in captivity for two years", said historian Igor Kozlovskiy, 63, who was captured by Donetsk rebels on suspicion of storing weapons. Viktor Medvedchuk is Ukraine's representative to ongoing peace talks. "Glory to our heroes".
"It was a very exhausting and professional struggle for everyone", said Ukrainianpresident Petro Poroshenko. A ceasefire that was supposed to go into effect on 23rd of December was shattered within hours when a Ukrainian soldier was killed.
"I have just thanked our lads who are coming back from captivity. The exchange process is over", Ms Lutsenko said on Facebook.
Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist rebels conducted the largest exchange of prisoners since conflict broke out in 2014, sending hundreds of captives home to their families on Wednesday ahead of New Year and Orthodox Christmas, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The swap is in line with the so-called Minsk Protocol brokered by Germany and France in 2015.
The exchange is part of the so-called "Minsk agreement", a settlement roadmap signed in 2015 between Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
State officials say Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent in November but remained higher than the national rate. There were 60,700 more people working in Maryland in November than a year earlier, a gain of 2.2 percent.
After the morning fog burns off, we will have clouds building in through the day with one or two isolated showers this afternoon. There's also no sign of a warmup, so be ready to finish 2017 with highs in the 20s and lows near 10 degrees.
It was spotted in October by researchers on the Pan-Starrs telescope in Hawaii after it barrelled past the sun on its way through. The first object to visit our solar system from interstellar space is now making a clean getaway from our cosmic neighbourhood.
Barack Obama's numbers were down from 22 percent the previous year, but he was the first former president to win since Dwight D. Situational awareness: "President Trump's legal team plans to cast former national security adviser Michael T.
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The run-and-gun shooter is Sega's version of Contra with 14 weapon combinations, local cross-platform multiplayer, and 7 levels. Civilization VI for iOS will regularly sell for $60, but to celebrate the launch, Aspyr is offering it for half price.
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Methuen historian Joe Bella places a wreath as part of Wreaths Across America Day at Hilldale Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 16. The weather on Saturday proved to be much nicer than a year ago with sunny skies and temperatures near 40 degrees.
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What to do with your leftover Christmas Tree
Hamilton County's five recycling centers will once again be accepting natural trees at its five recycling locations. Anyone wishing to obtain a list of locations where the trees will be available should contact the U.S.
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