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KIEV, February 10. /TASS/. Possible exchange of prisoners of war between the Kiev authorities and militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic will depend on the results of Tuesday’s meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk, a source in the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies told the UNN news agency on Tuesday.
"This issue will be settled after the Minsk meeting. So far, no one is saying anything not to frustrate the process. People’s lives are most important. The prisoner exchange is now hanging by a thread because of shelling. So, everything depends on today’s meeting and probably on tomorrow’s," the news agency cited the source.
Earlier on Tuesday, human rights ombudswoman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Darya Morozova said another exchange of prisoners of war between DPR militias and the Ukrainian authorities may take place on Wednesday, February 11. "It may probably take place tomorrow," she told the Donetsk News Agency.
She said the exchange of prisoners had been initially planned for Monday but was postponed.
The last official exchange of prisoners took place on February 5 in the format "eight for nine." Exchange of prisoners is one of the key provisions of the Minsk agreements that were reached at a meeting of the Contact Group on the Ukrainian settlement on September 5.
According to the DPR, ten prisoner exchanges have already taken place. More than 410 people had been referred to the Ukrainian side. Moreover, twenty-five Ukrainian servicemen have been released as a good will gesture. As many as 500 people returned to the DPR.
On January 26, a spokesman for the Ukrainian army’s general headquarters said DPR militias were holding 184 Ukrainian soldiers. Two days later, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko spoke about 600 Ukrainian servicemen kept by DPR militias.