Representatives of the Russian Federation and two Russia-controlled self-proclaimed republics, the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR") and "Luhansk People's Republic" ("LPR"), have blocked the swap of prisoners since September 2020.
This was announced by head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas Leonid Kravchuk in a comment to journalists, according to the news outlet Novosti Donbassa.
"At every meeting, Ukraine would ask 'DPR'/'LPR' to submit the lists [of detainees]. They have blocked [this process], using different pretexts," he said.
"In the end, they have turned it into a game that looks very gloomy, as they are starting to trade in human beings," Kravchuk said in a comment on "DPR"/"LPR" plans to transfer some Ukrainian citizens to Viktor Medvedchuk, MP from the Opposition Platform - For Life Party and Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest ally in Ukraine, bypassing the established prisoner swap procedure.
The recent exchange of detainees between Kyiv and the "DPR"/"LPR" took place on April 16, 2020. Twenty people returned to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. The self-proclaimed republics received 14 persons in exchange, four more refused to go to the Russia-occupied territory.