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 Ukrainian Politics
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 Militants demand to release 700 their accomplices in exchange for 50 Ukrainians, - MP Iryna Herashchenko

The list of those, whom the militants demand to release, includes murderers and other high-level criminals.

First Vice Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ukraine's representative to the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group Iryna Herashchenko wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET reports.

"While Putin was holding a press conference, at which he confirmed what we keep telling mothers and relatives of the hostages every day: the keys to the prisons both in the Russian Federation and occupied territory it is not in Donetsk and Luhansk, but in the Kremlin. The decisions to give someone back to Ukraine are made there.

"The conference of the humanitarian subgroup was held via Skype at that very moment on the initiative of the Ukrainian side... I'm not a wide-eyed girl, and I clearly understand, where the decisions on hostages' release are made. But I and my colleagues are diligently struggling for every hostage making every effort to liberate them as early as this year, in spite of the fact that we often understand delusiveness of all our efforts," she wrote.

Read more: "We know of 109 our guys held in terrorists' prisons, 492 still considered missing in action," - SBU's Hrytsak

"Putin has again mentioned the "all for all" swap today... That is, to exchange the civilians detained in the occupied territories for their pro-Ukrainian views (who continue being detained every single day) and our soldiers who defended our land for all those who committed grave crimes against Ukraine, including felony murders. The "DPR"/"LPR" representatives repeated this mantra word-for-word today.

"They deny that they hold 110 hostages, whose release was requested by the SBU and the working group in Minsk, but say that they have only half of them. Moreover, they demand that Ukraine immediately release 700 their accomplices in exchange for less than 50 [Ukrainians]," the MP said.

Read more: Ukrainian government to transfer 15 women and persons with health issues charged with offenses against state to Russian militants in Donbas, - SBU

"The list of those, whom the militants demand to release, includes murderers and other high-level criminals. The list of hostages confirmed to be held in the "DPR"/"LPR" lacks many of those Ukrainians, whose fate is known to us. The militants just hide them providing no information to initiate their liberation. That's what is actually going on. We were seeking a compromise during today's video conference to release hostages before the Christmas holidays, recalled a promise to release teenagers made by the "DPR"/"LPR", raised the issue of immediate release of a wounded Ukrainian soldier captured by the militants a few days ago during a clash.

"There was no response. As a matter of fact, the whole world heard a response of the Russian authorities today saying that they care little about all those filmmakers and journalists, saboteurs and terrorists - the Ukrainian government must pardon everyone, the amnesty act must be adopted. The "DPR" and "LPR" were also mumbling about the amnesty today. How should we work with this? It's hard.

"Unfortunately, Russia is not willing to release the hostages. The Kremlin takes a break until the new Trump administration is appointed, until the Normandy format diminishes, makes efforts to discredit the Minsk working groups, promotes other destabilizing activities inside Ukraine," the politician emphasized.

Read more: Biden supports Ukraine's decision to unilaterally release 15 militants

"I get chocked up with tears, because we have done our best to set the guys free now, not tomorrow. The mothers and relatives do not always hear the arguments, which makes it very hard for us because they live in hope and faith. We continue working with the volunteers and priests looking for every opportunity to liberate our men.

"We ask the international community not to keep quiet, to make efforts for hostages' release, to make the militants stop bullying Ukrainians illegally held in the "DPR" and "LPR". Unfortunately, today's video conference delivered no good news because such a decision was made in Moscow," the MP summed up.
   
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