Prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine took place on a neutral line near the checkpoint Hoptivka.
Bohdan Martsonya and Ihor Dziubak, servants of State Border Guard Service, kidnapped by Russian special services returned to Ukraine in October 2017.
“This is a very complicated process. There were lots of letters on exchange. You have to understand, that the aggressor country doesn't want a simple exchange. We conducted complicated negotiations,” Petro Tsyhycal, the head of Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service said after the procedure.
More details on exchange and the story of kidnapping:
- Bohdan Martsonya and Ihor Dziubak, Ukrainian border guards, disappeared in Sumy region near the state border with Russia on October 3, 2017.
- Russia confirmed the detention of two Ukrainians on the next day.
- The court arrested them for two months under two articles on illegal border crossing and on flagrant disobedience to law enforcers.
- According to Martsonya and Dziubak, they were treated “as criminals”.
- In its turn, Ukraine transferred Vladimir Kuznetsov and Askar Kuluba, the soldiers of FSB Border Guard Service detained in 2017 in Kherson region to the Russian side.
- According to arrested Russians, they were playing border crossers during trainings, but they lost their route.
- Oleh Slobodyan, spokesman of Ukraine’s Border Guard Service, at the end of October 2017 said that Russians intentionally postpone the return of Ukrainian border guards to exchange them for Kuznetsov and Kuluba.
- Russian border guards were condemned under the article on violation of the entrance-exit order in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. They were punished in the form of 15 days arrest and 329 hryvnias of court fees.
- Later the prosecution opened an investigation on Kuznetsov and Kuluba under the article on infringement on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.