The number of persons to be exchanged remains unclear as the sides cited conflicting figures during a videoconference organised by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said during his trip to the region on Monday that 1,200 army troops had been handed over to Kiev since last Friday. “Another 863 persons, who are still in captivity, are to be freed before the end of the week,” he said.
Andrei Lysenko, the spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council, named a different figure. “Twenty Ukrainian citizens have been released and we are working to get another 100 freed,” he said.
Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Vice Premier Andrei Purgin told ITAR-TASS that the sides had agreed to exchange 30 POWs. “Thirty for thirty at first and then we will see,” he said.
Purgin admitted, however, that there were certain predicaments. “There are certain difficulties which I cannot disclose,” he said, adding that these issues would be addressed during future videoconferences, the nearest of which is to be held on Monday evening.
Purgin said that the detained militiamen were being brought to Kharkiv and expressed hope that “they will be exchanged by the hundreds”.