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Ukraine’s Security Service reports release of about 2,500 military

March 14, 2015, 12:25 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, March 14. /TASS/. About 2,500 Ukrainian military have been released by the militia during the conflict in Donbass, head of Ukraine’s Security Service Valentin Nalivaichenko said on Saturday.

"We have returned 2,483 people. Right, for us, the Security Service, quite often "the cost" was painful," he said in an interview with Ukraine’s Levy Bereg. Kiev has released about 1,500 militia, he said.

On March 10, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) sent three lists on prisoner exchange to Kiev, DPR human rights ombudsperson Daria Morozova said.

There were around 2,000 people on the list. "Active preparations for [prisoner] exchange are underway. Three weeks ago, DPR sent three lists to the Ukrainian side," Morozova said. "In the first list, there are self-defence forces - 220 people. The second list is with political prisoners. There are 800 of them. In the third list, there are civilians. As of March 7, there are 900 of them," she added.

The Ukrainian side has not sent any response yet, the ombudsperson noted then.

On February 11, the Normandy Quartet negotiations - presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France and German chancellor - in Minsk in various formats (in private and with other delegations) lasted for the total of 16 hours from 7:15p.m. local time.

On February 12, members of the Trilateral Contact Group on the Ukrainian conflict settlement signed a four-page set of measures to implement the earlier Minsk agreements.

The document was signed by OSCE Special Representative Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s second President Leonid Kuchma, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, as well as leaders of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky. The first point of the document sets condition for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire beginning from 00:00 hours (Kiev time) on February 15, 2015. The conflicting parties agreed on withdrawal of all heavy weapons. Parties will pullback all heavy weapons to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometres wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and the Tochka-U tactical rocket systems.

The final document says that the Ukrainian troops are to be pulled back away from the current line of engagement, and the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions - from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014. "The pullback of the mentioned heavy armaments should begin no later than the second day after the ceasefire and be completed within fourteen days," the package of measures says. The document points the OSCE will promote this process with support from the Trilateral Contact Group."

The package of measures contains a special item requiring "effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regimen and pull-out of heavy armaments by the OSCE as of the first day of the pullback, with the use of all required technical means, including satellites, drones, radars and other systems."

A separate point of the document provides for release and exchange of all hostages and illegally held persons based on the "all for all" principle that should be completed after the weapons withdrawal - on the fifth day at the latest. The sides also agreed on restoring the Ukrainian side’s control over the state border throughout the conflict zone.

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