During his press conference on 6 February 2019 in Moscow, the former President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych said that he was willing to initiate the POWs exchange between Kiev and Donbass Republics under the formula “all for all”. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have responded to the idea of the former President of Ukraine, although Kiev refused to comment on that.
“I am ready to take initiative. If Poroshenko gets my message and if he is willing to resolve this issue, I am ready to address it. I can discuss the matter with Mr. Putin if needed. I am ready to discuss the proposal if there is initiative from the Ukrainian side,” he said, referring to the exchange of “all for all” at one time. “We are not at the market. There can only be one question [to Mr. Poroshenko]: are you ready to exchange all for all?”
FAN (Federal News Agency) discussed the prospects for the exchange under this formula with Human Rights Ombudsmen of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
In the interview to FAN, DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova said that the position of the Donetsk People’s Republic is “all-for-all” exchange.
“DPR has long been ready for the exchange under the Minsk agreements – either all for all or through the intermediate formula “all confirmed for all confirmed”. The Ukrainian side, however, continues to block the process, coming up with new unreasoned demands. As to our position, we are ready for that,” she explained.
With regard to citizenship of defenders of Donbass, held in Ukrainian captivity, the DPR does not place people into categories as it is unacceptable, according to Morozova.
“The position of LDPR is all for all, as provided for in the agreement,” she stressed.
At the beginning of 2018, the Ombudsman claimed that during the exchange of 27 December 2017 the Ukrainian side unilaterally changed the agreed exchange list. In particular, citizens of the Russian Federation were removed from the list. This fact was communicated to Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Fiona Frazer and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
With regard to DPR citizens who are held prisoner in Ukraine, according to information of the DPR Ombudsman Office, as of 20 January 2019, there are 272 prisoners, of whom 104 persons are confirmed by Ukraine.
A Human Rights Ombudsman of Lugansk Olga Kobtseva highlighted that all exchange agreements are negotiated within the Minsk format.
“This format does not provide for the involvement of Mr. Yanukovych,” she said.
It was noticeable that Ukrainian Ombudsman Liudmila Denisova refused to comment on the “all-for-all” exchange proposal.