Ukraine releases 9 Russian paratroopers for 63 soldiers
With tensions escalating between the two countries, especially after the accusations from the West that Russia has sent 1,000 members of its armed forces to support the rebels in Ukraine, have come to a troop exchange agreement.
Under the agreement, Ukraine released 9 paratroopers of Russia who wandered into Ukraine to flee from combat into eastern Ukraine. In exchange for the paratroopers, Russia released 63 Ukrainian soldiers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Following the assistance supplied by Russia, the pro-Russian rebels are said to have gained a strong ground in Ukraine for which Russia is being criticized by the West and is being lambasted by the press.
Major General Alexei Ragozin said about the exchange that the negotiations were difficult but everything ended well. However, Ukraine said that there were heavy casualties during the exchange in spite of the fact that the countries agreed to have a safe retreat.
Ukrainian President Poroshenko met European Union officials to discuss the issue of Russia involving in the matter. The European Union is already discussing new sanctions to bring against Russia. The sanctions of the EU are greatly supported by the United States, a significant power from the West that has an influence on the matters and the implementation of the sanctions.
“We welcome the European Council’s consensus today to show strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to prepare further sanctions for consideration in coming days”, said White House National Security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
Another issue that has given rise to a slew of controversial comments is Putin’s comment on the possibility of Ukrainian gaining statehood. While it has enrage activists, Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has been continuing to deny the interpretation.