DONETSK, August 12 (RIA Novosti) – Independence supporters from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Ukrainian Army have exchanged their captives with each other: self-defense forces freed four government servicemen, including one officer and one trooper, in turn seven militiamen were allowed to return home, a DPR representative told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
According to the militia headquarters, after being seriously wounded and undergoing treatment in a hospital, one of the Ukrainian contractors was saved from the vigilante justice of local residents, who went to the hospital in the town of Torez to take law into their own hands. The injured person was handed to the Ukrainian side on stretchers.
As soon as the exchange was conducted, it turned out that while in captivity, independence supporters were beaten, held in pits, and refused food and medical treatment, according to the militia headquarters.
The exchange took place on a highway between the town of Snizhne and Torez in the east of Donetsk Region, where intense fighting between independence supporters and government troops has been ongoing for months. The exchange proceeded without complications.
Eastern regions of Ukraine have been the targets of attacks since mid-April after Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation to crack down on its growing independence movement. According to the United Nation’s latest estimates, more than 1,100 civilians have died in the conflict and nearly 3,500 have been injured.