Some 3,044 Ukrainians released from captivity since start of Donbas conflict
Some 3,044 Ukrainians have been released from captivity over two years of the armed conflict in Donbas, said Yuriy Tandit, deputy head of the SBU Security Service and chairman of the Joint Coordination Center on the release of the hostages, during the 8th International Conference "Protection of democratic values and respect for human rights in special services' operations" in Lviv.
114 people are reported to be held captive in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas, and 655 are missing.
According to Tandit, of 3,044 people, there are 1,119 soldiers, 264 National Guard officers, 112 officers of the Interior Ministry, 26 state border guards, 67 fighters of volunteer battalions and 1,456 civilians.
Tandit said that information on prisoner swaps planned by the SBU is never disclosed, given the fact that people are held hostage not only by the DPR [Donetsk People's Republic] terrorist organization, but also by lower level militant leaders, so any announcements about prisoner exchange may actually do more harm.
Read alsoKremlin's prisoners: Media tell of Ukrainians thrown into Russian dungeonsHowever, Tandit noted that in some cases the militant leaders were more willing to cooperate on prisoner exchange issues than the higher level "DPR" terrorists. There were cases when one person could be exchanged for six or 20 people, according to Tandit.
He said he believes that the release of Nadia Savchenko may facilitate significantly the release of other hostages that are being held in the uncontrolled territories, including eleven political prisoners illegally held in Russia.