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Ukrainian government forces still holding about 600 militias captive - commission

October 08, 2014, 22:36 UTC+3 DONETSK

A total of 231 people have been released and one militiaman has been reported dead

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DONETSK, October 8. /TASS/. The Ukrainian government forces still hold about 600 eastern Ukrainian militias captive, the commission for prisoners of war reported on Wednesday.

A total of 231 people have been released and one militiaman was reported dead, but neither his body nor his documents have been returned, said a report posted on the website of the government press centre in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

It said “the situation with official amnesty for political prisoners remains unclear”. “The actions of the Ukrainian authorities remain standard - a person is amnestied and set free, then once again arrested and handed over to the DPR in a prisoner swap as a prisoner of war,” the commission said, referring to three such cases.

It also said that many prisoners were returning with their hands and ribs broken, many were emaciated, and almost 80% were returning disabled.

“Captives don’t get back their documents, money and personal belongings, and passports were returned only to six people out of 231 released prisoners,” the report said.

It said “The Kiev side does not register captives and often there are no documents on their whereabouts and numbers”.

Kiev has repeatedly given other figures of released prisoners. Andrei Lysenko, spokesperson for the Council for National Security and Defense of Ukraine. said about 1,200 military and civilians had been released from captivity in eastern Ukraine. The same figures were given by President Pyotr Poroshenko.

Prisoner exchange is one of the key points in agreements reached at a Minsk, Belarus, meeting of the international Contact Group on settling the Ukraine conflict.

Five exchanges have taken place so far, swapping prisoners at the rate of 37 for 37, 70 for 70, 38 for 38, 28 for 28 and 30 Ukrainian law enforcers for 60 militia personnel.

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