"It’s on the eve of and in honor of Chritmas have I given the order to release all the captive soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, held in the ‘LPR’,” Plotnitsky said in a public address.

However, the number of prisoners to be released was not specified.

Read alsoKremlin and FSB discussing Plotnitsky's dismissal for theftEarlier, the Presidential Envoy for the peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukraine’s representative in the sub-working group on humanitarian issues of the Tripartite Liaison Group, Iryna Gerashchenko, said that the Russian-controlled militants often release in exchange operations only the captives who are on the brink of death, to absolve themselves of responsibility for the torture and killing of captives.