Updated on 04:14 p.m. Moscow Time
KIEV, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – About 20 captives have been returned to Kiev after a ceasefire was imposed in eastern Ukraine but Kiev hopes that the process of prisoner exchange will take on a more large-scaled implementation, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security Council said Monday.
“Since the beginning of the ceasefire around 20 people have been returned from the terrorists. We expect this process to be more large-scaled because the terrorists are meeting us halfway, so the agreement on prisoner exchange is still in effect,” spokesman Andriy Lysenko said.
He said that information on the number of captives among the eastern Ukrainian independence supporters is currently being collected.
On September 6, Donetsk People’s Republic Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko told the press in Moscow that the Ukrainian "prisoners of war" would be transferred to the Ukrainian side on the same day. However, as of Monday morning, they still remained captive in Donetsk.
The prisoner swap between Kiev and eastern Ukrainian pro-independence forces under the “all for all” scheme was agreed on during Contact Group talks in Minsk on September 5, which brought together representatives from the Ukrainian government, southeastern Ukraine’s pro-independence movement, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Ukraine has been engulfed in violent internal conflict since mid-April, when Kiev began a military operation against independence supporters in the country's southeastern regions.