136 Ukrainians held captive by Russian proxies – Gerashchenko
Member of Parliament and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's envoy for the peaceful settlement of the Donbas conflict Iryna Gerashchenko says that the Russian-backed militants held 136 prisoners of war (POW) and hostages as of February 9, according to Radio Liberty.
"According to the latest information, which is updated on a weekly basis by the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, 136 citizens of Ukraine are still in militant captivity. These are both military and civilians, including nine persons who are held in Russian prisons as prisoners of conscience," Gerashchenko said.
After a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on January 13, the parties agreed to exchange 50 prisoners from both sides of the conflict before January 20. But the swap failed. After another meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on January 27, Darka Olifer, the press secretary of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine in the Group, said that the POW swap remained blocked by the militants.
The SBU earlier reported that 139 Ukrainian citizens had been held captive by militants in Donbas at the end of 2015.