The Wall Street Journal published the article “Ukrainian Government, Rival Separatists Exchange Prisoners Amid Push for Peace.”
“Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia separatists in the east of the country exchanged dozens of prisoners, a small step toward a rapprochement between two sides that have been engaged in a slow-burning conflict for almost six years,” reads the message.
Deutsche Welle wrote “Ukraine, pro-Russia separatists carry out landmark prisoner exchange,” emphasizing that “government carried out a landmark prisoner swap of Ukrainian soldiers in exchange for Ukraine-held separatists on Sunday near the rebel-controlled town of Gorlivka. The Ukrainian presidential office said that 76 pro-government detainees were returned, while separatist officials said they had received 124 pro-Russia detainees, meaning 200 prisoners were exchanged overall.”
France24 published the article “Ukraine swaps 200 prisoners with pro-Russian separatists.”
The outlet wrote that “Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists in the country's war-torn east exchanged 200 prisoners on Sunday, swapping detained fighters for civilians and servicemen held captive in some cases for years in the breakaway regions.”
Voice of America wrote “Ukraine, Russia-Backed Separatists Complete Prisoner Swap.”
The edition underlined that “the conflict in the region known as the Donbas is one of the biggest challenges facing Zelenskiy, who campaigned on a vow to end the conflict.”
BBC released the article “Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists exchange prisoners.”
“Pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine have concluded a long-awaited prisoner exchange of 200 prisoners, the office of the Ukrainian president said… This is the second prisoner exchange involving Russia and Ukraine. In September, 24 sailors seized by Russia in the Kerch Strait off Crimea in November 2018 were released and - controversially - a "person of interest" over the downing of flight MH17 which killed 298 people was handed to Russia,” it notes.
Reuters wrote, “Ukraine holds big prisoner swap with pro-Russian separatists.”
“The swap should help build confidence between the two sides, who are wrangling over how to implement a peace deal after the loss of more than 13,000 lives, but major disagreements remain and full normalization is far off,” it underlines.
Aljazeera released the article “Ukraine, pro-Russia separatists complete prisoner swap.”
It underlines that “since coming to power in May, comedian-turned-President Zelenskyy, 41, has sought to revive a peace process to end the conflict. At the Paris summit, the leaders sought to revive accords signed in Minsk in 2015 that call for the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the restoration of Kyiv's control over its borders, wider autonomy for Donetsk and Luhansk, and the holding of local elections.”
Financial Times also underlines Zelensky’s peace inspirations: “Hopes of a settlement rose after the April election of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, a former comedian who won a landslide 73 per cent of the vote on a promise to end the war. But many analysts say a full peace deal will be extremely hard to reach, given how entrenched both sides have become.”
“Like his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, Mr Zelensky has brushed aside Russian demands that Kyiv should grant deep and permanent autonomy to the far eastern regions, offering instead to grant them the same decentralised form of government that is being implemented in other parts of Ukraine,” the edition wrote in its article “Ukraine-Russia prisoner swap marks step towards peace deal.”
The Guardian released an article “Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists exchange 200 prisoners.”
It underlines that “since coming to power in May, the former comedian has sought to kickstart a peace process to end the conflict… The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, hailed the swap as “positive” in a joint statement.”
Euronews wrote that “Pro-Russia separatists swap prisoners with Ukraine at checkpoint.”
“The exchange marks a further de-escalation in Europe's only current armed conflict, which broke out in 2014… The summit was one of the first tests for the comedian-turned president following his election last spring. Experts said that a prisoner swap could be possible after the summit,” it underlined.
December 29, Ukraine and representatives of militant-held Donbas exchanged prisoners; these are political prisoners, POWs, and civilians, some of which were not even convicted. The venue was Mayorske checkpoint in the Donetsk region. Ukraine passed 127 people to the non-controlled territory, and the Russian mercenaries passed 76 people to Ukraine; 12 of these were military servicemen. Another 14 people refused to be exchanged.