Thursday, December 28 2017 16:36 EET
Ukrainians illegally kept in the occupied areas were warmly welcomed home at Boryspil airport after the prisoner swap: photos
Ukrainians, released, occupied areas, welcomed home, Boryspil airport, prisoner swap, photos, Iryna Gerashchenko, hostage, prisoners, Russia, war, donbas

On December 27, a prisoner swap took place in a neutral zone near the town of Mayorsk, close to the Russian-occupied town of Horlivka, in Donetsk region

Ukraine handed over 233 persons requested by the Russian mercenaries in exchange for 73 Ukrainian hostages.

"Seventy-three Ukrainians who were illegally kept in the occupied areas were released from militant prisons," the press service quoted First Deputy Chairperson of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko as saying.

"The Ukrainian side in turn transferred 233 out of the 306 persons on the [swap] list, having pardoned and released them. They committed crimes but their measure of restraint was changed or they were pardoned in keeping with laws. There are no individuals among them who committed homicides or other grave crimes and are not subject to clemency," it said.

The president’s plane with 73 released Ukrainian prisoners on board landed at the Boryspil airport late on Wednesday where the former prisoners received a warm welcome from their friends and relatives.

Earlier Poroshenko met liberated Ukrainians on the touch line.

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