Russia and Ukraine swap prisoners in first sign of thawing relations

The embrace says it all.

A father and son, separated by Ukraine's ongoing feud with Russia, reunited at last in Kiev.

This boy's Dad was one of 35 Ukrainian prisoners released on Saturday (September 7), after being held in a Moscow jail.

They were seen leaving prison in the early hours - the start of a major prisoner exchange between the two countries.

Russia has held dozens of Ukrainian captives since 2014.

Among them, 24 sailors detained last year - as well as the film maker Oleg Sentsov.

But it wasn't immediately clear which prisoners were onboard the plane.

It's a major win for new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.


"We did... we have done two connections, telephone connections, between two presidents. And we have done the first step. We have to do all the steps to finish this horrible war."

On the same day, a group of 35 Russian prisoners held in Ukraine landed in Moscow as part of the deal.

On Thursday (September 5), a Ukrainian court released on bail a man suspected of being involved in the downing of a plane over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

The Malaysia Airlines disaster killed nearly 300 people.

It's hoped the long-awaited prisoner swap will ease bitter tensions between the two countries over Moscow's annexation of Crimea five years ago.

Russian-backed separatists continue to control a swath of eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives

Some lives - put on hold for some time - have at least now been put back together.