MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities have failed to make proper procedural clearance of the prisoners who were released to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Wednesday and have not handed their documents back to them, DPR’s human rights ombudswoman Darya Morozova said.
"As for the exchange, regrettably, it is a new stage of trouble for those released. Because we agreed in Minsk that they would be cleared in terms of procedure. Now, after speaking with our men, I know that they have not be cleared procedurally. Moreover, their documents have not been handed back to them," she said in an interview with the Rpssiya-24 television channel.
She drew attention to the fact that pre-trial restrictions for many of those who had been exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners were altered to a written pledge not to leave. "Hence, as soon as they had crossed into our checkpoint they were put on a wanted list. More to it, another charge was added - that of ceasefire violation. Previously initiated criminal cases were re-opened on charges of violation of the pre-trial restrictions," she said.
According to Morozova, the issue of the legal status of those released will be raised at the next Contact Group meeting in Minsk.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kiev and the Donbass republics conducted a prisoner exchange, the biggest since the outbreak of the conflict. The swap took place at the contact line near Gorlovka. Kiev released 233 prisoners and the Donbass republics - 73.
Prisoner exchanges in the all-for-all format is one of the key provisions of the Package of Measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements that was signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 12 after marathon talks between the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.
Apart from that, the 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including establishment of working subgroups as priority tasks.