Ukrainian prisoners coming from the captivity of militants: Ukrainian prisoners: the story of their captivity
Crime13:54 Sep. 20, 2016
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Ukrainian prisoners: the story of their captivity

Yuriy Suprun and Volodymyr Zhemchugov were released from militant captivity on September 17

Two Ukrainians, Yuriy Suprun and Volodymyr Zhemchugov, were freed from captivity in Luhansk region. One of the prisoners had heavy injuries - lost hands and eyes after a mine blew up.

The prisoners' exchange was constantly being disrupted until the scheme for 4 Russians for 2 Ukrainians prisoners was agreed upon.

Read also: Ukraine shows PACE how Russian propagandist torments maimed hostage

Volodymyr Zhemchugov had been held hostage for a year. He was captured in Luhansk region when he decided to go into the occupied area to pick up his mum's belongings from her house. He said he had no idea it was so easy to trip a mine.

Without both hands and no sight, Volodymyr was soon captured by militants, who accused him of subversive activities.

The other prisoner, Yuriy Suprun, became a hostage 5 months ago. He was the UN mission member. Despite that fact, separatist forces didn't let him leave the occupied area, saying he was conducting a surveillance operation.

"For 5 months of captivity, this is the first time I've been outdoors", Yuriy Suprun, freed prisoner, said

The man says the only dream he has is to see his loved ones who are waiting for him in Kyiv.

The wife of Volodymyr Zhemchugov was allowed to come to the exchange point because of his health. She is nervous and emotional to eventually see her husband.

Read also: Militants take more Ukrainian prisoners in Donbas

There should be more of these exchanges. The question of prisoners will be put forward at the next Minsk meeting and marked as highly important.

"We have freed only 14 hostages from occupied territories and 3 from Russia. This is terrible. Russia is still using prisoners as an instrument for pressing Ukraine", Ukraine's representative at the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral contact group,  Iryna Herashchenko, says.

Negotiations on releasing prisoners are often shaky and aborted by militants at the very last moment. Ukrainian representatives, who are responsible for the negotiations with enemy forces, say they have data about another 45 prisoners and where they are located.

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