Exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russian-backed militants was delayed due to the threats to security of Ukrainians held by militants, stated Security Service Chairman Tandit. "We have realized that the [the militants] are trying to do it fraudulently, without giving our soldiers back, as was previously negotiated. That is why we decided to go back," he stated. In the last minute militants put forward new demands.
The exchange should be held in "13 to 13" format. Among those 13 Ukrainian military prisoners are some officers held in captivity year after the tragic events in Ilovaisk. This exchange procedure has been preparing for last three months, and the parties reached the "finish line" two days ago. Ukrainian side was represented by volunteers, soldiers and Security Service employees.
The next talks are expected to be held August 17.
As reported by RBK, Russian-backed militants were instructed to hold a parade of Ukrainian soldiers, currently prisoned in Donetsk People's Republic. This mocking tactics should take place in Donetsk August 24, on the Independence Day of Ukraine.
According to recent reports, the militants hold in captivity more than 170 Ukrainians, including civilians.