SBU head adviser Yurii Tandit said it on air of 112 Ukraine station, Censor.NET reports.
"We're driving towards Bakhmut and Sloviansk. Before that, we came to the neutral territory and handed over 15 former prisoners as a gesture of goodwill. We have proven by action our intention to do everything possible to unfreeze the hostage release process," Tandit said.
According to him, the released people committed crimes against the integrity of Ukraine and were mostly charged under article 258 of the Criminal Code (participation in illegal armed formations, terrorism). There were six women among them.
"During the handover, these people approached me and started to give thanks for what we are doing. I saw the irritation of those who came from Donetsk and Luhansk. They probably didn't like much what we had done, that decision of ours," Tandit added.
According to the SBU head adviser, it is important for Ukraine to move on to free 48 hostages held in the occupied territory.