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"The Security Service Ukraine welcomes any steps taken by the Russian authorities to unblock the process of hostage release," the SBU said.

The agency also believes that the joining by Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kyrill of the joint efforts of leaders of all world confessions in the framework of the initiative of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations will facilitate the return of all hostages.

Read alsoUkraine not to succumb to blackmail on prisoner swap issue – humanitarian envoy"We emphasize that in this issue, sensitive for so many people, there should not be any PR element, especially with a view to raising the rating of individual politicians. The measure of success should be the actual release of Ukrainian hostages, not some high-profile information and propaganda campaign," the Security Service said.

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As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation with the leaders of Russian militants in Donbas. The Kremlin said that the parties discussed the initiative of the leader of the civic movement "Ukrainian Choice", Viktor Medvedchuk, regarding the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the occupied Donbas. Self-proclaimed leaders of "DPR" and "LPR" supported the initiative, noting that the issue should further be worked out with the Ukrainian side.