“Moreover, I will say it in public for the first time: we could reach an agreement on May 14-18, 2014. Not with Shufrych (Nestor Shufrych, Ukrainian parliamentarian since 1998, - ed.), but Ukraine with these prodigal sons, prodigal people. There was a chance. I arrived, we explained the position to Turchynov (the then Acting President, - ed.). I said: “They are ready, we sit down and write an agenda and the issues we should agree on”. Bolotov (Russian militant leader, known for his involvement in the Donbas War, - ed.) said then: “I don’t get your constitutions, but there is Crimea, and we need autonomy. Give it to us and that’s it”. I smiled and replied: “Let’s sit and discuss it”. I told Turchynov we were ready to go, to catch up on this list of questions and start a dialogue. He said: “Hostages are there”. There were hostages from both sides, we had to release them. Then, I and Shufrych wanted to negotiate. I called them and stated that our leader had a proposal to release the hostages. They said: “Come here, we will discuss the hostages”. And we were told: “No, don’t do that if so, we don’t need this talks”. Then, it was resumed in June, in a month after a new President was elected, when Trilateral Contact Group appeared,” Medvedchuk said.
“When I and Shufrych were arranging things so that the Trilateral Contact Group came to Donetsk… It held two sessions there. It was attacked during the first session, and my security released OSCE representative then, elderly people were trying to beat her. It was provoked, of course. Yet, in four days, on June 27 we came there again and had talks again. And we decided that we were in a ceasefire regime, actions suspended from both sides. President Poroshenko suspended ATO (Anti-terrorist Operation, - ed.). But on July 1 we agreed on another meeting, on the night of June 30 to July 1he decided to resume ATO. Combat actions began, it ended in September, then gradually continued. Since December 14, I started dealing with exchanges only,” he added.
Viktor Medvedchuk, considered a major figure in the political life of Ukraine is well known for his pro-Russian stance and close ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. In 2018, he acted as the negotiator during the talks on the exchange of captives in Donbas.
Viktor Medvedchuk stated that the negotiations on the exchange in an “all for all” format are being conducted all the time. In December 2017, the largest exchange by “306 for 74” formula took place.
Thanks to the participation of Viktor Medvedchuk, more than 480 Ukrainian citizens were released.