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Donetsk Republic Hopes for Prisoner Exchange With Kiev by February

© REUTERS / Igor TkachenkoMembers of independent supporters walk past a Ukrainian serviceman during an exchange of prisoners of war outside Donetsk
Members of independent supporters walk past a Ukrainian serviceman during an exchange of prisoners of war outside Donetsk - Sputnik International
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Exchange of prisoners between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), prescribed by the Minsk agreements, derailed due to the fault of the Ukrainian side, but DPR hopes it will take place until the end of January, the DPR envoy to the Minsk peace talks said Sunday.

DONETSK (Sputnik) — At the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation on January 13, the parties agreed to exchange more than 50 prisoners. It was expected that it will happen until January 20. However, the exchange was foiled.

"We hope that the negotiators will be able to reach an understanding on this issue and it will be resolved before the end of January," Denis Pushilin told RIA Novosti.

Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.

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In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between the two sides in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, an all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms, which would give a special status to DPR and LPR.

Despite the Minsk peace deal, sporadic shelling has continued in Ukraine’s southeast.

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