MH17 suspect among prisoners swapped by Ukraine with Russia: Dutch government

Cheryl Sanders
September 10, 2019

"Journalists should never be jailed", he said in an emotional interview broadcast on state television from Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

Monday's meeting may help break the ice between Moscow and the West, who have locked horns over quite a few matters in recent years. "Further, we will come closer to the return of our (war) prisoners", Zelenskiy said of the prisoner exchange. It stipulates that, ultimately, all prisoners on both sides must be freed.

And US Defense Secretary Mark Esper gave a lukewarm response to Macron's push after talks with his French counterpart Florence Parly on Saturday.

Malaysia Airlines' flight MH17 left Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur on July 14, 2014 but was shot down over eastern Ukraine resulting in the death of 298 people, majority Dutch.

Discussions of an exchange between the two nations had intensified after Volodymyr Zelensky was elected Ukrainian President, TASS reported. Observes in Kyiv and Moscow said Zelenskiy's rise to power made both Ukraine and Russian willing to compromise.

Ukraine's security service has identified Mr Tsemakh as a former commander of Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini called the prisoners' exchange a "testimony to the work and determination of those, including civil society, activists, and legal experts, who have worked tirelessly for this outcome".

Each country flew 35 prisoners to the other country.

In July, a tentative agreement for the release of 69 Ukrainian prisoners and 208 held in Ukraine was reached by the Trilateral Contact Group of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; negotiations on fulfilling it continue. Amnesty World declared Sentsov to be a prisoner of conscience, the European Parliament awarded him the Sakharov Prize for freedom of opinion. The remaining individuals are Ukrainian nationals who sided with pro-Russian separatists.

Among the released detainees were 24 sailors on Ukrainian naval ships that were seized by Russia in November and a Russian journalist arrested in Ukraine. He was Ukraine's most famous political prisoner and the subject of a star-studded global campaign calling for his release. He opposed the Russian annexation of the Crimea.

Film director Oleg Sentsov was also released. Fellow activist Olexandr Kolchenko, who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison on similar charges, was also freed.

It was an commence damage for Ukrainians to check Sentsov's health failing one day of a 145-day hunger strike closing twelve months.

Oleg Sentsov, a filmmaker convicted by Moscow in 2015 of planning "terrorist attacks" in Moscow-annexed Crimea and who was serving a 20-year jail sentence in Russian Federation. Hryb was also released.

Russian Federation called the charges against the country's citizens "absolutely unfounded" and said the investigators based their findings on "dubious sources of information", accusing them of rejecting evidence the Kremlin has provided.

The two politicians, one a worn KGB officer, yet any other a worn comic, managed to address their promises to one yet any other and swap 70 prisoners variously accused of unlawful border crossing, espionage, murders, assassination makes an strive or terrorism.

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