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Russia and Ukraine swap captured soldiers


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Russia and Ukraine swap captured soldiers

Russia and Ukraine have exchanged captured soldiers in a move which may mark a slight easing in tension between the two countries.

Ukraine handed back nine Russian troops on who were captured in eastern Ukraine last week. Moscow said the men had crossed the border by accident.

One injured soldier was returned immediately but the other nine had been kept in Kyiv.

Deputy Commander of the Russian Airborne Forces, Major-General Aleksei Ragozin said: “The negotiations were very difficult. However, common sense triumphed and all ended well. The most important thing is that our guys are back with us, in Russia. I want to emphasise that we never abandon our own. Necessary measures were taken to start the negotiations to return our soldiers back in Russia.”

In exchange, 63 Ukrainian soldiers who had entered into Russia on Wednesday were handed back to Kyiv.

During the five-month conflict, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have at various points crossed the border after being pushed there by rebels.They have previously been returned straight away.

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