The first exchange of prisoners between the Ukrainian authorities and the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DPR) took place in the Donbas, Russian media reported on Thursday, April 16, citing the representative of Russia in the trilateral contact group (TKG) Boris Gryzlov.
"Kyiv's exchange with DPR is over," Gryzlov said. The exchange took place at the Mayorsk border crossing near Horlivka. According to DPR ombudsman Daria Morozova, Ukraine handed over to the self-proclaimed republic ten people, and DPR gave Ukraine nine, as one person refused to exchange. Morozova also noted that all released DPR supporters will be placed in a two-week quarantine because of the current coronavirus pandemic.
On the same day, the exchange of prisoners between Kyiv and another self-proclaimed republic in Donbas – so-called Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) is to take place, said Olga Kobtseva, a LPR representative in the humanitarian subgroup of TKG. According to her, LPR is expected to hand over to Kyiv 11 people and take back eight.
The previous exchange of prisoners between Kyiv and the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbas took place at the end of December 2019. Then, DPR handed over to Kyiv 51 people and received 60, and LPR - 25 people in exchange for 63. Nine people refused to return to the territory of the breakaway republic.