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DPR prepares new lists of imprisoned militias for prisoner exchanges with Ukrainian side

Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic's representative at the Contact Group noted that the militias would hand back imprisoned Ukrainian troopers only in exchange for captured militias

MOSCOW, February 2 /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/ is drawing up new lists of imprisoned militias to exchange prisoners with the Ukrainian side, Denis Pushilin, an authorized representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) at the Contact Group negotiations in Minsk, told journalists on Monday.

"We are preparing the list of prisoners for exchange," Pushilin went on to say.

He noted that the militias would hand back imprisoned Ukrainian troopers only in exchange for captured militias. Pushilin said he knew cases when the Ukrainian side had returned the released servicemen to their families and relatives for money.

"They held the exchanges and then sold the released servicemen to their relatives," Pushilin said adding that Ukraine’s Federal Security Service (SBU) should deal with that problem.

Pushilin, who represents DPR at the Minsk negotiations of the Contact Group for the Ukraine settlement, said in his previous remarks that the republic would be ready to discuss the date of possible prisoner exchanges with Kiev only after the Ukrainian army ceased all fire and withdrew heavy weapons from the actual line of contact.

Earlier on Monday, Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said that the republic had adopted a new scheme of exchanging prisoners with the Kiev authorities, according to the republic’s head Alexander Zakharchenko.

"The exchanges will take place but they are going to be different now. There will be clear lists of captivated militias who will be exchanged for Ukrainian servicemen. The Kiev authorities will no longer be able to hand over to us people who allegedly used to be connected to us at some time," Zakharchenko said on Monday.

"We will give them a clear list of our militias whom they will have to exchange into their servicemen. This will be the scheme," the Donetsk news agency quoted Zakharchenko as saying.

The DPR’s chief said that such prisoner exchanges were possible but did not clarify when exactly they could take place.