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Official says Donetsk republic handed 317 POWs to Kiev since signing of Minsk accords

August 04, 2015, 4:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

At present, the two republics have 45 POWs on their territories and 40 persons of that number are kept in the Donetsk republic

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MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. Self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic has made public information on its practical commitment to the obligation to exchange everyone for everyone, which it took while signing the Minsk accords, Denis Pushilin, the republic’s plenipotentiary representative at the Minsk talks of the Contact Group for settling the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine said on Tuesday.

"Since the signing of the Minsk accords, several exchanges of POWs have been held between the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, on the one hand, and the Kiev government, on the other hand, have taken place," he said. "All in all, the Ukrainian side has released 287 persons and the (East-Ukrainian) self-defence forces, 317 persons."

At present, the two republics have 45 POWs on their territories and 40 persons of that number are kept in the Donetsk republic. The authorities have prepared twelve persons for an exchange while the activities of another twenty-eight persons are under investigation.

In the Lugansk republic, all the five POWs are ready for an exchange.

Pushilin also spoke about the handovers of the remains of Ukrainian Army servicemen to Kiev.

"Last spring we handed over the remains of 509 servicemen, whose bodies had been found at the sites of combat operations on the compound of the Donetsk airport and in the town of Debaltsevo," Pushilin said.

A peaceful resolution of the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine is based on the accords that the Contact Group reached on September 5 and September 20, 2014, and on February 12, 2015.

In September 2014, parties to the Group coordinated a plan of peaceful settlement and agreed on a ceasefire, as well as passed a memorandum on effectuation of the ceasefire regime.

In February 2015, participants in the talks signed a document spelling out a complex of measures for fulfilling the Minsk accords. It envisioned an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbass as of February 15, a pullback of heavy armaments, the setting up of a security zone, a discussion of resumed payments of social benefits and allowances to the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk republics, and a constitutional reform in Ukraine that would produce a decentralized system of state administration.

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