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Russia, Ukraine May Swap Prisoners For Third Time In March


Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president's chief of staff

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Moscow and Kyiv intend to carry out another prisoner swap later this month.

Yermak made the comments on March 1 following a meeting in Minsk with Dmitry Kozak, Russia's chief negotiator to peace talks in eastern Ukraine, according to a statement posted on the Ukrainian president's website.

Zelenskiy has made ending the nearly six-year war in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 13,000 people a priority since coming to power in May.

Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in December to a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, where pro-government forces are fighting Kremlin-backed rebels, and additional swaps of prisoners.

Zelenskiy has already overseen two prisoner exchanges during his first nine months in office. In September 2019, Russia and Ukraine each exchanged 35 prisoners. In December 2019, Ukraine turned over 124 prisoners to the Russian-backed rebels in exchange for 76 Ukrainians they held.

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