DPR representatives to Contact group outraged by Ukrainian party’s stance on exchanging prisoners’ process

On July 5, in Minsk, a regular meeting of the Contact group on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbass was held. The agenda included issues related to the observance of the “silence regime”, the implementation of the agreement on the forces and facilities disengagement in the third pilot place, as well as the preparation for the exchange of prisoners. 

As the source at the peace talks reports from Minsk, the permanent plenipotentiary representative of the DPR to the Contact group, Denis Pushilin, expressed his indignation at the attitude of the Ukrainian side towards the exchange of prisoners.

“The exhausting stage of verifying of detained persons’ opinions has been completed. Many efforts were made by the parties to achieve the results in the shortest possible time. The mothers of captured children and other participants of the verification had to overcome hundreds and even thousands of kilometers, spend dozens of hours in detention places, conducting polls, trying to ensure that the data obtained were as reliable as possible. The captive citizens confirmed their desire or unwillingness to come back.

People who languish for months in the dungeons of Ukrainian prisons (often on false pretenses or political motives), being subjected to humiliating treatment, tortured, without adequate medical care, deserve freedom.

But Ukraine continues dragging out the process, leaving unanswered the requests of our negotiators, putting forward new and new conditions that complicate the exchange,” the source said.

Also, according to the source, during the meeting of the subgroup on humanitarian issues, the Ukrainian party spoke with sharp criticism regarding international human rights organizations.

“The Ukrainian party does not consider it necessary to take into account not only the opinion of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, but also the opinion of international humanitarian and human rights organizations. Thus, during today’s meeting of the subgroup on humanitarian issues, representatives of the Ukrainian side expressed sharp criticism towards the ICRC and the UN. In their opinion, the information provided in the reports of these organizations cannot be considered official,” the source said.

According to the source, the Contact group considered the issues of compliance with the “silence regime”, the need for the disengagement of forces and facilities in Stanitsa Luganskaya, the safety of water supply facilities.

“After a rather ardent discussion, the negotiators came to an understanding of the need to adhere to the previously announced ‘harvest truce’, especially given that the initiators were grain growers and farmers. In addition, the meeting participants managed to come to an agreement on the forces and facilities disengagement in Stanitsa Luganskaya on July 8.

But the issue of safety of water facilities remains open. It is unacceptable to create separate security zones and withdraw forces from water supply facilities of the Republic,” the source concluded.

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