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KIEV, November 17 /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has confirmed the release of 17 Ukrainian troopers from captivity in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.
“Seventeen troopers who were held in captivity in Donetsk have been released. They include 4 National Guard fighters; 7 army servicemen and 6 members of Ukraine’s voluntary battalions,” Poroshenko tweeted on Monday.
The Ukrainian army and the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/ have carried out a regular exchange of prisoners, Darya Morozova, head of the republic’s Committee for Refugees and Prisoners of War, told TASS earlier on Monday.
“We handed over 17 prisoners whom we held in captivity (to the Ukrainian side) back on Friday. Today, we received 17 of our guys,” Morozova went on to say.
All the captives handed over by the DPR were servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“The guys who were returned to us were in poor health as usual: they were beaten up while in captivity; one is suffering from gangrene,” Morozova explained.
Under the Minsk peace agreements, six prisoner exchanges have taken place in the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic until recently: 37 servicemen to 37 militias; 70 to 70; 38 to 38; 28 to 28; 30 (Ukrainian servicemen) to 60 /militias; 25 to 25.
The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) held the last prisoner exchange on October 14 when 13 militias were exchanged for 14 Ukrainian servicemen. On October 28, the LPR militias handed over seven people to the Ukrainian side while Kiev released eight militias. Seven LPR militias were swapped for seven Ukrainian servicemen on Friday, November 7.