Photo from VK / BBC News Russia

Kyiv's Court of Appeals has ruled to release Volodymyr Tsemakh, a former anti-aircraft unit chief with the Russian proxy forces in Donbas who was believed to be an important witness in the MH17 case, from custody.

Thus, the court allowed the defense appeal on the extension of preventive measure in the form of detention, Tsemakh's lawyer Roman Gontarev told UNIAN.

The preventive measure was changed from detention to a personal recognizance.

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As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian special operations forces late in June conducted a special operation in the Russia-occupied town of Snizhne in Donetsk region to detain ex-"commander" of Russia-led anti-aircraft forces Volodymyr Tsemakh.

A video interview filmed in 2015 suggests that Tsemach could be involved in transporting the Buk launcher to Russia.

Last Friday came unconfirmed reports that the swap deal had been completed and that dozens of political prisoners and POWs held in Russia, including Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, would arrive in Kyiv that day. However, a few hours later it appeared that the agreement had not been finalized. According to The Insider, the deal was called off at the last moment after Moscow suddenly demanded to include in the list Ukrainian national Volodymyr Tsemakh.

It is not clear when prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia will pursue.