UARU
Bringing Them Home: Inside Ukraine's Prisoner Exchange
29 December, 2017

On December 27, Ukraine freed 233 prisoners of war in return for the release of 73 hostages held by the Russia-led separatists of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DPR) and "Luhansk People's Republic" (LPR).

It was the largest prisoner exchange in three years and will reunite dozens of Ukrainian families in time for the New Year's holiday. Many of the people released from separatist captivity were Ukrainian soldiers, but others were civilians: activists, bloggers, and other individuals imprisoned for their pro-Ukrainian views.

Read More: Ukraine Holds Prisoner Exchange with Russia-Led Separatists

The prisoner exchange came as the much-anticipated result of international negotiations in Minsk, Belarus. But until the last minute, much remained uncertain: who would be freed and even whether the swap would actually take place.

Hromadske takes you inside the breathless hours leading up to the exchange with a report from on the border between Ukrainian- and separatist-controlled territory.

/ By Anastasia Stanko, Illya Bezkorovaynyi and Kostiantyn Reutskyi