The Republics expect to liberate more than 100 persons held by the Ukrainian side
The Donetsk People’s Republic authorities see no obstacles for performing the second stage of the prisoner exchange within the next month. On Thursday, this was announced by DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Daria Morozova in a video linkup at a roundtable hosted by TASS and devoted to reports by international organizations on the crimes in Donbass.
“Based on previous experience, we can perform the exchange within a month,” said the DPR Ombudsman. According to the latest data, the Republic expects to liberate 80 persons, held by Kiev, in the course of the next exchange.
Russians detained by Kiev
Donbass Republics will demand to release 25 persons that the Ukrainian side refused to hand over to DPR and LPR right at the last moment, during the prisoner exchange of December 2017. This was announced by Olga Kobtseva, The LPR representative in the subgroup on humanitarian issues of the Contact Group, the Leader of the LPR Working Group on Prisoner Exchange Issues.
“In the course of the exchange, Ukraine refused to hand over 25 persons from the list. They had been confirmed by the Ukrainian side, but Ukraine unilaterally crossed out the names of Russian citizens from the list at the last moment, without any forewarning or explanation,” she said.
“Now, ahead of the second stage of the exchange, there are already more than 100 persons whom we demand,” said Kobsteva.
For her part, DPR representative Daria Morozova also reaffirmed determination of the Republics to liberate all people, whom Kiev refused to release as part of the first stage of the exchange. According to Morozova, Russian citizens may be handed over either to Donbass Republics or to the Russian embassy. There are precedents in that regard – citizens of Brazil, Afghanistan and several other countries, she noted.
Morozova also underlined that it is impossible to perform an “all for all” exchange until the conflict ends and Paragraph 5 of Minsk Agreements on amnesty is fulfilled, because “unlawful detentions continued unabated.”
On December 27, 2017, a prisoner exchange, the largest so far, took place on the line of contact in Donbass, outside of Gorlovka. Kiev handed over 233 prisoners to the Donbass Republics and received 73 prisoners in return. Both parties stressed that the prisoner exchange process had not been completed and they were determined to do everything possible to continue it in 2018.