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Head of Annexed Donetsk Region Announces Prisoner Swap

Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (second from left) meets liberated soldiers. Alexei Alexandrov / AP / TASS

The Russian-installed head of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, announced the completion of the latest in a series of prisoner swaps between Moscow and Kyiv on Thursday. 

According to Pushilin, 107 captured troops on both sides were swapped in what was the second prisoner exchange between the warring militaries in just over a week. 

"Out of the total number of those released, 65 are from the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. Soon they will be able to hug their loved ones,” Pushilin wrote on his Telegram channel Thursday.

Neither Kyiv nor Moscow has officially commented on the exchange. 

The swap comes days after 52 Russian troops were exchanged for 52 Ukrainian troops, including two members of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, which became famous for its resistance to Russian forces during the Siege of Mariupol.

The continuing exchange of prisoners is one of the only matters that Moscow and Kyiv continue to discuss since both sides ditched peace talks in March in favor of settling in for a long war.

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