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Ukrainian military detain five people in DPR - republic’s official

January 23, 2016, 16:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The republic says about 1,101 detained and kept by the Ukrainian side

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MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Five people of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) were detained illegally by the Ukrainian military, the office of the republic’s human rights envoy Darya Morozova said on Saturday.

"Over the past week, we have registered detention by the Ukrainian side of DPR’s two military and three civilians," the Donetsk News Agency quoted the official as saying.

Though under the Complex of Measures, Kiev and Donbass are to exchange prisoners on the "all-for-all" basis, the Ukrainian side has been trying to include in the lists for exchanges "absolutely strange people, even not political prisoners," the source said. "The current situation is very similar, as instead of the militia, who have been in the basements of the Ukrainian security service for quite a long time and who are on the lists for exchanges, Kiev tries to offer political prisoners or even strangers."

The republic says about 1,101 detained and kept by the Ukrainian side.

Ukrainian troops have been engaged in fighting with local militias during Kiev’s punitive operation, underway since mid-April 2014, against the breakaway territories - the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics constituting parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.

Massive shelling of residential neighbourhoods, including with the use of aviation, has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian disaster in the area.

Kiev has regularly violated the ceasefire regime imposed as part of the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk Agreements.

The Package (Minsk-2) was signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarusian capital Minsk by participants of the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass. The Package, earlier agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) envisioned an overwhelming cessation of fire and withdrawal of heavy armaments to create a security area in the region at least 50 kilometres wide.

In line with the agreement reached at talks in Minsk, from September 1, 2015 there should have been a complete cessation of fire at the disengagement line in Donbass. However, the Defence Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has registered an increased number of shelling instances over the past few months.

At talks in Minsk on December 22, the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass reached a joint decision to establish from 00:00 December 23, 2015 a complete and unconditional ceasefire - the sixth since the conflict started.

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