The militants offer to exchange Volodymyr Ruban only one Ukrainian prisoner, which is unacceptable, as Iryna Herashchenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, told the journalists on air of 112 Ukraine.
“A couple of weeks ago it became known that Ruban appealed to the representatives of ODLO with the demand to include him on the list. This causes puzzlement of course. But I would like to say to all the “know-all”, who say that “then we can offer to pass Ruban and take our fellows” – it is not like that. The representatives of the militants have said right away, that they demanded Ruban to be included on these lists, but only if he is exchange for someone else, which is unacceptable,” she said.
Ruban was detained on March 8 at the Ukrainian checkpoint at the demarcation line of Donbas Conflict zone. It is stated that Ruban is suspected in the illegal handling of arms, preparation of a crime and terrorist action. Later the Shevchenkivsky District Court of Kyiv arrested Volodymyr Ruban, the Leader of Center of POW Release 'Officer Corps' for 60 days without a right to the bail. The Court extended the arrest on May 4 to July 2.
Nadiya Savchenko, Ukraine MP, is one of the defendants in Ruban’s case. Earlier, she intended to bail him out. Now, she is also under arrest, after Ukraine’s MPs agreed on that.
The hostages' exchange between Ukraine and ORDLO took place on December 27, 2017. 73 Ukrainian prisoners came back home. 233 people were transferred to the occupied territory.
Earlier, Bogdan Mertsonya and Igor Dziubak, Ukrainian border guards came back home on March 2. Russian special services kidnapped them near the state border in Sumy region in October 2017. Ukraine transferred to Russia Vladimir Kuznetsov and Askar Kulub, servicemen of the Russian Federal Security Border Service, arrested in Kherson region in summer of 2017.
It remains unknown when the next hostage exchange takes place. As it was reported, at the session of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk Ukraine claimed its readiness to exchange 23 Russians for its political prisoners kept in Russia. Meanwhile, the militants demand to pass them 80 convicted in exchange for 15 Ukrainian prisoners.