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Ukraine: ceasefire holds, hostage swap expected soon

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Ukraine: ceasefire holds, hostage swap expected soon


An uneasy calm prevailed in eastern Ukraine 24 hours after Kyiv forces and pro-Russian separatists signed a ceasefire agreement, the first step in a peace plan approved in Minsk on Friday.

That plan includes a hostage swap. Kyiv wants that to take place “as fast as possible.”

Pro-Russian rebels are expected to first release soldiers they captured. Kyiv will then follow suit.

“Our aim is to release all men we’ve captured,” said Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security Council.

“We are ready to accept conditions from terrorists which are not breaking national and international laws,” continued Lysenko.

The EU has announced further sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in Ukraine, but those measures could be suspended if Moscow withdraws its troops and observes the ceasefire.

Russia denies sending troops or arming the rebels.

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