In Russia-held Donetsk, freed POWs return home

STORY: The fighters were freed during a prisoner exchange on Nov. 3, with the two sides in the eight-month-old conflict releasing 107 captives each.

Prisoner exchanges have been a regular occurrence during the conflict, with both military personnel and high-ranking politicians released in the swaps.

"We thought he was dead," said Alexandra Savelyeva, wife of a released serviceman.

"There was information that my husband has been killed. But he turned out to be alive. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him in the news bulletin about the prisoner swap. I was just speechless."

In Amvrosiivka, a town of 18,000 people close to the internationally-recognized border with Russia, Denis Pushilin, head of the region's Russian-installed administration, greeted the returning fighters.

Some of the men wept as they were reunited with tearful family members.