Saturday 21 September 2019

In pictures: Emotional scenes as planes land in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

Vyacheslav Zinchenko, a crew member of Ukrainian naval ships, which were seized by Russia's FSB security service in 2018, is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Vyacheslav Zinchenko, a crew member of Ukrainian naval ships, which were seized by Russia's FSB security service in 2018, is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Planes carrying prisoners freed by Russia and Ukraine have landed in the countries' capitals, in an exchange that could be a significant step towards improving relations between Moscow and Kiev.

The planes, each reportedly carrying 35 prisoners, landed almost simultaneously at Vnukovo airport in Moscow and at Kiev's Boryspil airport.

A recently exchanged Ukrainian prisoner is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
A recently exchanged Ukrainian prisoner is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
A recently exchanged Ukrainian prisoner is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
A crew member of Ukrainian naval ships, which were seized by Russia's FSB security service in 2018, is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Vyacheslav Zinchenko, a crew member of Ukrainian naval ships, which were seized by Russia's FSB security service in 2018, is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
A recently exchanged Ukrainian prisoner is greeted by his relatives upon arrival in Kiev after Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, at Borispil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

At the Ukrainian capital's airport, relatives stood on the tarmac waving as the plane taxied towards them.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was also at Boryspil.

Those released by Russia reportedly include 24 Ukrainian sailors who were detained last November by the Russian navy off the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

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