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Russia and Ukraine Swap Captured Border Guards Who Got 'Lost'

Petr Poroshenko / Facebook

Russia and Ukraine have exchanged border guards who spent months in captivity after crossing into foreign territory.

Ukrainian border guards Bohdan Martson and Ihor Dzyubak went missing in October 2017, later reported to be detained at the border for illegally crossing into Russia. Russia’s Vladimir Kuznetsov and Askar Kulub were detained four months earlier in south Ukraine after they reportedly got “lost” and crossed the border.

The exchange took place at a neutral zone on the Russian-Ukrainian border, the FSB confirmed on Friday.

Official Moscow and Kiev both welcomed the border guard swap.

The Kremlin has been accused of fomenting the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev in eastern Ukraine following the 2014 toppling of a Moscow-friendly president in the country and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. 

Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels swapped captives late in 2017 in the first exchange since mid-2016.

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