Pro-Russian separatist added Russian soldier captured by Ukrainian Army in Donbas to prisoner-exchange list

During a skype conference with the Minsk humanitarian subgroup, the DPR and LPR (officially - separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions - ORDLO) demanded the release of the captured Russian military officer, Ageyev, as part of the prisoner exchange program. The DPR and LPR consider Ageyev to be a "soldier," as stated by the representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group, Iryna Herashchenko, on her Facebook page.

"Ukraine's position here is unequivocal: he is a war criminal. We expect the Russian authorities will recognize his presence in Ukraine. The court must determine the nature of his crimes and the world should know the details of these crimes because they substantiate the presence of the Russian military in the Donbas," Herashchenko said.

Representatives of the DPR agreed to exclude two dozen prisoners who had nothing to do with events in the Donbas from the list of those they are demanding to be released.

"However, separatist representatives continue to demand the amnesty and release of 45 more people who are not related to the conflict and who committed serious crimes, including the Berkut officers who shot the Heavenly Hundred (people killed during Euromaidan) and the organizers of the terrorist attacks in Odessa and Kharkiv. It is obvious that this blackmail is inadmissible," Herashchenko said.

According to her, the Ukrainian ombudsman, Valeriya Lutkovska, and SBU experts took part in the skype conference. The ORDLO representatives were against Lutkovska’s participation, demanding a repeated diplomatic note from the Foreign Ministry confirming her status as an authorized representative.

"I think this shameful act was put on to avoid answering to the torture of Lyudmila Surzhenko, whose fate was discussed at the last meeting. The representatives of the ORDLO frankly lied and stated that they do not know anything about her detention during the time when Lyudmila was tortured. Today, Ukrainian representatives took a strong position on the torture of Surzhenko and other hostages and drew the OSCE coordinator's attention to this," Herashchenko wrote.

According to her, in the past two weeks, the list of hostages has increased, primarily due to the addition of civilians, "who were arrested simply for having a pro-Ukrainian position and were accused of "sabotage" and "espionage."

"To date, as the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) has already informed, we have demanded the release of 137 Ukrainians. ORDLO has confirmed only 71 of them (including the official confirmation of the detention of journalist Stanislav Aseyev in prison)," Herashchenko said.

She also stated that during the negotiations it was agreed upon to allow the OSCE Coordinator of the Working Group on Humanitarian Issues, Toni Frisch, to visit the prisons and hostages in the uncontrolled territories in August.

"We demanded that the visit to the Makeyevskaya prison was mandatory, as this is where they keep our military, as well as visiting detained women and civilians, in particular Igor Kozlovsky," Herashchenko wrote.

The next meeting of the Tripartite Contact Group will be held in Minsk on August 2nd.

On July 30th it was reported that the LPR released Lyudmila Surzhenko, a woman with impaired hearing as well as a judge of the Court of Appeal for the Luhansk region, Vitaly Rudenko.

  Ageyev, separatists, DPR, LPR, Russian military, Ukraine