Read the original article at radiosvoboda.org
On December 19 freed from militants' captivity "cyborg" Taras Kolodiy met with reporters and unveiled details of his stay behind bars. Fighter of 80th airmobile brigade of Ukrainian Armed Forces, he defended Donetsk airport and was captured by militants nearly two years ago. Taras Kolodiy was released on December 18. Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine said that they have already developed new mechanism of talks, and they are negotiating with separatists over the exchange of prisoners of war until the New Year Ukrainian by the formula "all for all".
"I was captured on January 21, 2015 in the Donetsk airport terminal. 12 persons were taken prisoners, out of which two had serious injuries - broken bones. After that, Igor Branovytsky (Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier, "cyborg" - Ed.) was beaten by militants, and "Motorola" (Arsen Pavlov, one of the leaders of the militants, who was killed in the autumn of 2016 in Donetsk - Ed.) killed him. The first and second day, it was hard physically, and then physical force was not applied, " said Taras Kolodiy.
There were no conditions from the part of militants and no negotiations, says the Security Service of Ukraine. The militants released Taras as a sign of good will and with the assistance of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, told SSU head adviser Yuri Tandyt.
"For its part, Ukraine is making large concessions; in a sign of good will we freed 15 people - two women and the rest diseased. We released them; all of them are from the list of hostages, which was created by LNR and DNR. Ukraine is ready to exchange "all for all" we are ready to free 228 to return our soldiers. It is important that before the holidays they will return home, " said Yuri Tandyt.
"Guys hope that before New Year's holidays they will be at home" - Taras Kolodiy
Details of prisoner exchange mechanism will not be disclosed by security services until the New Year. Freed "cyborg" Taras Kolodiy told that all his fellow soldiers with whom he communicated in captivity, hope to celebrate the New Year at home.
"All the guys asked to tell you that they are holding on, that everything is fine with them. They hope that they will be at home before the Christmas holidays. Two left in the cell - Lazorenko and Oliynyk, " said Taras Kolodiy.
According to official data, 137 Ukrainian military are still staying in militants’ captivity. Therefore, the release of a soldier does not solve the problem, said the former commander of the battalion "Donbas" Anatoly Vinogorodsky. He believes that there is no systematical works on the exchange of prisoners there. Veterans- volunteers said that if until December 23 all prisoners would not be released, they will block trade with the occupied territories.
"Theoretically, this work should be done by Security Service of Ukraine employees. I have the impression that no one is working on this now. The rate of exchange, which we see now, with the possible pressure on DNR and LNR is very low. For a long time it was possible to close the issue of exchange of prisoners of war. As long as there are our soldiers, we are not canceling anything. We have not any other options, except talking with them from the position of strength. "
Freed "cyborg" Taras Kolodiy said that he had been kept in Donetsk Security Service building, for the last six months the prisoners were taken out for a walk in the yard. Also doctors were allowed to visit prisoners.
"Liberation from captivity at any cost is not acceptable, this is issue of special services" - Gaide Rizaeva
Liberation from captivity at any cost is not acceptable, says volunteer Gaide Rizaeva. According to her, Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko should not have any relation to the exchange. This is a matter of special services.
"I believe that the exchange should be conducted according to the list. I do not understand the formula "all for all". 258 prisoners from our side in exchange for 58 – such procedure is not appropriate. There is the Security Service of Ukraine, which has the "exchange fund", there is a president. They should conduct an exchange. Savchenko shall not meet with the militants, she is the carrier of state secrets. Formula One to four proposed by Savchenko, is unacceptable. We do not need exchange at any cost. I'd rather have outlasted some time, if only it was in favor of my country ", - said Gaide Rizaeva.
Power cuts, the economic blockade of the occupied territories will only contribute to the speedy exchange of prisoners of war, says photojournalist Maria Varfolomeeva: "I was a captive; I realize that the prisoners want to be released soon. MP shall not bу engageв in exchange. She behaves like an agent of the Kremlin. There must be a group that will have all the powers and lists for prisoner exchange. Separatists for each person's life will put forward more and more new requirements. Many of the familiar patriots across the border say that they are willing to endure hardship of a total blockade, even if they kill us, if only we were released. "
Photojournalist Maria Varfolomeeva and volunteer Gaide Rizaeva agreed that all prisoners count the days and expect a speedy release. But negotiations on the exchange should be led by only one group of representatives of the security services.