“We freed 1,342 prisoners during the ceasefire. Over 400 bodies have not been identified yet. They will be identified under my order,” Poroshenko said.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire and exchange of captives during talks in Minsk on September 5 mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that came two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his seven-point plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. The long anticipated ceasefire took effect the same day, but reports said it had been repeatedly violated since then.
On September 19, the Contact Group consisting of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE as well as representatives from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and the Luhansk People’s Republic signed a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of the ceasefire commitments laid down in the Minsk Protocol.
Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories have claimed some 3,500 lives, according to the UN, forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s embattled south-east and caused massive destruction.