DONETSK, January 5. /TASS/. A regular exchange of prisoners between the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Ukraine may be held by the end of this week if the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) guarantees amnesty to all held militiamen, DPR human rights ombudswoman Darya Morozova said in an interview with the Donetsk news agency.
“We are ready to conduct a prisoner exchange in line with lists provided by Ukraine. But the Ukrainian side is not ready. In particular, the SBU has not dropped charges from prisoners of war. The swap may be held by the end of the week if the SBU manages to complete the procedure,” Morozova said.
On Monday, head of the Main Investigative Department of the SBU Vasily Vovk told Ukrainian media that Kiev hopes another few dozen law enforcers could be freed from captivity in Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk regions) this week.
Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast on the border with Russia, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, has left thousands of people dead, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.
The parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.
A memorandum was adopted on September 19 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.
The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.
A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9. It is seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities.