73 Ukrainians illegally held in the “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” were released from the militants’ captivity. The swap took place on the outskirts of Maiorsk village in the Donetsk region on Dec. 27," Herashchenko said, Censor.NET reports citing the Verkhovna Rada press service.
According to the SBU, more than 170 people were held hostage in the occupied Donbas. However, the “LPR”/“DPR” militants confirm only 103 prisoners. 73 Ukrainians from this list were released on Dec. 27. Most of them were illegally held by the militants for several years.
In turn, the Ukrainian government handed over 233 individuals who were previously pardoned and released from custody. There were no murderers or those involved in other grave crimes among the prisoners released by Ukraine.
Among others, the militants have set free legendary historian and religious studies scholar Ihor Kozlovskyi. Many people of goodwill from all over the world struggled for his liberation.
"The Ukrainian government is willing to continue campaign to liberate all Ukrainians illegally held in the occupied areas of Ukraine and in the Russian Federation. We are ready to carry out the next swap. It is also critical to find out the fate of those gone missing in the Donbas," Herashchenko said.