More than 100 Ukrainian troops, detained by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, have been released, President Petro Poroshenko announced late Saturday.
"139 Ukrainian soldiers have been released from captivity," Poroshenko said on a social networking website.
The troops were released in accordance with a war prisoner exchange deal between the Ukrainian military and separatists, according to Ukraine’s Counterterrorism Center.
The swap was completed in the region of Luhansk and the released soldiers were brought to the city of Lysychansk, the center's spokesman Ruslan Tkachuk said.
Of the released troops, 104 had recently been taken prisoner by the separatists in Debaltseve, he added.
Meanwhile, separatists had earlier said that 37 troops had been exchanged with 36 separatists in Luhansk. Then followed the release of 115 Ukrainian troops in exchange for 17 separatists.
A cease-fire was signed between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in Minsk on Feb. 12.
The cease-fire agreement includes the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from combat areas, the withdrawal of all foreign-armed formations and release of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons, as well as political reforms and decentralization in the eastern Ukrainian regions.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, which monitors the fighting in the region, said Thursday that it had not seen either side complying with terms of the cease-fire.
More than 5,300 people have been killed and 12,200 others injured in eastern Ukraine since mid-April last year in the ongoing conflict, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.