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French volunteer of Russian origin released in Ukraine

September 08, 2014, 17:25 UTC+3 DONETSK

Poet Yuri Yurchenko arrived in Ukraine’s conflict-gripped southeast from Paris as a volunteer

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© Archive ITAR-TASS/Konstantin Sazonchik

DONETSK, September 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have released two people, whom they held captive, in exchange for a Russian poet, Yuri Yurchenko, a DPR high-ranking defense official told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

“At about 3 a.m. an exchange of prisoners took place,” he said adding that they released two people in exchange for Yurchenko.

The poet, a French national, was held captive by the government forces in Donetsk since May.

“He was beaten in captivity - his ribs are broken,” the DPR man said without specifying the identity of people that the militia handed over to Kiev representatives.

In August, Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, told reporters that eight militiamen, including Yurchenko, were detained on the outskirts of the town of Illovaisk, the place of fierce fighting at that time.

Yurchenko arrived in Ukraine’s conflict-gripped southeast from Paris as a volunteer.

“He is a Paris playwright, actor, poet, laureate of international contests and president of the Les Saisons Russes (Russian Seasons) theatre association,” Gerashchenko said. “He translated reports and news into French in order, as he puts it, ‘to break the information blockade of Novorossiya for the French-speaking countries of the European Union.

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