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The Cost of Freedom: Who Was Exchanged in Occupied Donbas Prisoner Swap?
30 December, 2019
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A large exchange of prisoners took place on December 29. 76 Ukrainians returned to the government-controlled territories from captivity in the occupied parts of the Donbas, whilst Ukraine handed over 127 people to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk “people’s republics". So who are these Ukrainians who returned from captivity, and who are the confirmed departures to the “DPR” and “LPR” within the exchange? Hromadske compiles a list of those we could confirm.

Who Returned to Ukraine

According to the Security Service of Ukraine, 76 Ukrainians returned home. 12 of them are military. At the same time, according to the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) secretary's advisor, Serhiy Sivokho, the agreement listed 80 people, but 4 people decided to stay in Ukraine's “non-government-controlled” territory.

Oleksandr Heymur, Borys Pundor, Kim Duvanov

Three of the eight servicemen of the 43rd Mechanized Brigade “Patriot”, who were captured by the “DPR” on May 22, 2019, after their truck entered the territory controlled by the Kremlin-backed militants.

Volodymyr Voskoboynyk

Fighter of the 30th Novohrad-Volyn Rivne Brigade. He was captured by the militants on the night of May 23 to 24, 2018 under unknown circumstances.

Serhiy Hlondar and Oleksandr Korinkov

Special operations soldiers Serhiy Hlondar and Oleksandr Korinkov were captured on February 16, 2015, the last days of the Debaltseve cauldron. According to relatives, that day they escorted a convoy with wounded and killed soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through the "corridor", but were ambushed.

READ MORE: Retreating from Debaltseve: “They Gave Us 'Green' Corridor with Grads and Tanks”

They are one of those who have been held captive by the self-named “DPR” for longer. They were held in a colony in Makiivka in the occupied part of the Donetsk region. Oleksandr Korinkov was captured almost immediately after his wedding. Serhiy Hlondar has two daughters: he hasn't seen his younger one yet as she was born after he got captured.

The wives of the two officers, Kateryna Hlondar and Yulia Korinkova, regularly come to Kyiv to take part in different demonstrations: to picket the embassy of the Russian Federation, spend the night under the presidential administration, meet with government officials, officials of the Security Service of Ukraine (or SBU), and participants in the negotiation process. On the eve of the talks in Minsk on December 16, Korinkov, Hlondar, and another prisoner, Bohdan Pantyushenko, were shown in a video report aired on the Russian state-owned channel Russia-1.

Special operations soldiers Serhiy Hlondar and Oleksandr Korinkov were captured on February 16, 2015. These were the last days of the Debaltseve cauldron. According to their relatives, that day they accompanied a column with wounded and killed soldiers of the Armed Forces through the "corridor", but they were ambushed.

The two men are among the longest-held captives of the so-called "DPR". They were kept in the Makiyivka colony. Korinkov was captured almost immediately after his wedding. Hlondar has two daughters, the youngest of whom he has never seen since he was captured before her birth.

READ MORE: 750 Days In Captivity: Prisoners of the Russian-Ukrainian War

Kateryna Hlondar and Yuliya Korinkova, spouses of the special forces servicemen, constantly come to the rallies to Kyiv, organize pickets near the Russian Embassy, spend nights outside the President's Administration, meet with representatives of the authorities, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) staff, participants in the negotiation process. On the eve of the talks in Minsk on December 16, Korinkov, Hlondar and another captive Bohdan Pantiushenko were shown in the story of the Russian channel Russia-1.

Bohdan Pantiushenko

Tanker Bohdan Pantiushenko was captured during the fighting near the village of Spartak not far from the Donetsk airport in January 2015. The military servant with the callsign “Bronia” (‘Armor’)  was mobilized into the 1st Separate Tank Brigade in 2014. During hostilities near the Donetsk airport, fighters crippled his tank, and the crew was captured. His wife Viktoriya has not seen her husband for five years. Before captivity, they had only lived together for one year.

Serhiy Ivanchuk

Ivanchuk is the head of the Engineering Service of the 8th Special Purpose Regiment with callsign "Fuhas" (‘Landmine’). He was captured on February 5, 2017 with his subordinate, Sergeant Ivan Deyev. His wife Viktoriya tells reporters that a friend of her husband came to her on that day and asked to talk. He reported that they were unable to get in touch with Ivanchuk and that he had been captured by the self-proclaimed “LPR”.

A video of Ivanchuk’s interrogation appeared on March 10, and later other videos emerged where the man was already wearing a prison robe. After that, the so-called “LPR court” sentenced Ivanchuk to 20 years in prison.

Ivanchuk will return home to his wife and two daughters. Viktoriya says she told the children the truth that their daddy was held against his will.

Stanislav Aseev

Ukrainian writer, journalist and blogger, member of PEN Ukraine. Author of the novel "The Melchior Elephant, or A Man Who Thought”. Under the pseudonym “Stanislav Vasin”, he worked as a journalist in occupied Donetsk.

He was detained in May or June 2017. Initially, the self-proclaimed "DPR" failed to inform the news, and his relatives started looking for him. Later, the "republic" admitted detaining Aseyev. On October 22, he was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.

International organizations were denied access to Aseev. In the government-controlled territories, his friends and colleagues organized support actions, reminded about his detention, and published a book called "In Isolation. Notes on Donbas”.

Ukrainian writer, journalist, blogger, and member of PEN Ukraine Stanislav Aseev was freed during the prisoner exchange between government-controlled Ukraine and areas of the Donbas occupied by Russia-led separatists on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALERI KVIT

Oleg Galazjuk

Oleg Galazjuk is originally from the now occupied Torez. As a candidate of philosophical sciences, he taught at the university, wrote columns about life in the occupied city for "Radio Liberty" under the pseudonym “Myroslav Tiamushchyi” (‘Smart’).

He did not hide his pro-Ukrainian position, and was already held captive once. At one point, he was released. Galazjiuk left home for a while, but then decided to return.

Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war who were released from occupied Donbas captivity stand near the Mayorske entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region during the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALERI KVIT 

In August 2017, he wrote that he had gone to live in Mariupol. But in December 2017, when a large exchange of prisoners took place, he passed a note through a released prisoner stating that he had been detained and was being kept in the Donetsk pre-trial detention center.

After his friends and relatives wrote statements to the police and the SBU, his name was included in the updated exchange lists.

Even representatives of international humanitarian organizations are not allowed to visit Galazjuk. His family allowed publication of his name in the annual report of the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission.

Denys Koval

Seven minors – Vladyslav Pazushko, Maksym Solodovnikov, Bohdan Kovalchuk, Denys Khmelenko, Yaroslav Myronov, Arseniy Belavyn, and Denys Koval – were sentenced to 10-15 years in prison by the so-called "DPR."

They were detained in September 2016 and accused of organizing terror attacks, car bombings, and sabotage. According to the self-proclaimed DPR authorities, the underage residents of Yasynuvata were recruited by the Ukrainian intelligence service officer with the call sign “Almaz”. It was supposedly all organized by Bohdan Kovalchuk, to whom this “Almaz”, according to the separatists, handed over materials for the manufacture of explosives and 5,000-hryvnia worth of reward ($215).

Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war who were released from occupied Donbas captivity stand near the Mayorske entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region during the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALERI KVIT 

According to the Russia-led separatists, the boys were involved in the bombing of the railway track in Yasynuvata in February 2016. The self-proclaimed “ministry of security” uploaded a video where the boys admitted to their alleged crimes. A video of searches at teenagers' homes was also published, in which masked people supposedly “find” explosives wrapped in bags.

Olena Sorokina

Olena Sorokina is a resident of the occupied Pervomaysk, Luhansk region. She worked at the plant, but after she got dismissed, she opened a pet shop. She has no parents, no children, no close relatives. Her friend found out about her disappearance in October 2018. She said that Sorokina disappeared on October 30. Before that, she was in touch and appearing on social networks, and then disappeared. Her godmother had keys to the apartment, but it was empty.

“The first thing they saw was the clothes that Sorokina left to dry in her yard. Even though it rained in the evening and at night, no one took it off. It was strange. Second, the light in the rooms was turned on. Third, the cats in the apartment were scared and hungry. And lastly, there were things on the table from one of the drawers, maybe someone was looking for something in a hurry,” her friend told about the searches.

Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war who were released from occupied Donbas captivity stand near the Mayorske entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region during the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALERI KVIT 

Then information emerged that Sorokina was brought home handcuffed and the apartment was searched. With the help of human rights defenders, the friend was able to get in touch with the UN mission, from where they sent a request to the so-called "LPR" authorities. In December, an answer came that she had been detained on suspicion of "committing a crime." Which crime is unknown.

Oleksandr Tymofeyev

Oleksandr Tymofieyev lived in Donetsk with his wife and son. When the war in Donbas began and debris got into their apartment, they decided to move. Tymofieyev’s son left first, then Tymofieyev himself moved to Kyiv to work and took his wife with him. His paralyzed mother who did not want to go stayed in Donetsk.

On December 26, 2017, the couple went to Donetsk to celebrate New Year's Eve with their mother. At a checkpoint in Olenivka, Tymofieyev was detained and told that he is suspected of a crime. In January, a message came from the self-proclaimed authorities that Tymofieyev was detained for 30 days for a misdemeanor, and then charged with espionage.

Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war who were released from occupied Donbas captivity stand near the Mayorske entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region during the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALERI KVIT 

After his arrest, Tymofieyev's wife called and asked for a ransom. The man was brought to his mother's house for an "investigative experiment", where Tymofieyev told his wife that he was being held on the premises of the Donetsk cultural center Izolyatsiya. After that, his wife was being asked about her son in Kyiv, and she realized that she had to escape. She managed to travel to the territory controlled by Ukraine. And in August 2019, Oleksandr Tymofieyev was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Maryna Chuykova

Maryna Chuykova was detained on March 19, 2019, at a checkpoint when she wanted to travel from the occupied Horlivka to Bakhmut. According to her son, the detention was explained by the fact that a telephone number of some SBU operative was found in her cell phone.

Prior to the war, Maryna worked as a nurse in Horlivka. After the war started she moved to Kharkiv, but occasionally traveled to the occupied territories to visit her mother, who refused to leave the territory.

Maryna Chuykova with relatives at the Boryspil airport following the big prisoner exchange on December 29 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: hromadske

Maryna has two sons awaiting her release. They say their mother is on the exchange lists, but they have almost no information about her. Allegedly, she is in a Donetsk detention center in a cell with six other women. She was charged with espionage and sentenced to 11 years in prison on October 1, 2019.

Vasyl Zhemelinskyi

Vasyl Zhemelinskyi is a serviceman of the 57th Brigade of the Armed Forces. He was captured by “DPR” militants on February 17, 2018, near Pisky.

Ivan Dieyev

Maidan activist Ivan Dieyev served in the 8th Special Forces Regiment of the Armed Forces. In 2016 he was awarded the Order "For Courage" of the 3rd degree for participation in the Donbas war. He was captured by militants in February 2017 in the Luhansk region.

Yuriy Yevtushok

Yuriy Yevtushok is a soldier of the 14th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces. He was captured in May 2018.

Tetiana Horbulich

A native of the Sloviano-Serbsk district, she has lived in the town of Shchastia since 2014. She worked as a cook there "at various sites where representatives of the Ukrainian power bloc, including the Armed Forces and the Security Service of Ukraine, were staying," according to information from the militants. They also claim that In 2016, Horbulich was allegedly recruited by SBU employee Ivan Bozhchenko, whose task was to collect military information on the territory of the “LPR”. These statements are accompanied by a video of the interrogation, in which the woman confirmed that she was collecting information "about the security agencies of the LPR" and passed it to Bozhchenko, for which she received monetary reward. Horbulich was captured by “LPR” militants in Luhansk.

Volodymyr Danylchenko

In May 2017, according to the “LPR”, the SBU sabotage and intelligence group was detained in Luhansk. This information appeared on the website of the so-called "Ministry of State Security of the Luhansk People's Republic" on May 19, 2017.

Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war who were released from occupied Donbas captivity stand near the Mayorske entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region during the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALERI KVIT 

The militants accuse Vasyl Sapronov, Serhiy Ivanchuk, Volodymyr Danylchenko and Ivan Zotov of "eliminating social and political figures of the republic" and of preparing "several acts of terrorism at critical sites of the LЗR infrastructure". The detainees allegedly gave evidence in which they confessed to the crime.

Eduard Aloyan

Aloyan was detained by militants and sentenced to 12 years in prison, allegedly for espionage in favor of Kyiv. The militants claim that Aloyan, who transferred people across the demarcation line, was recruited by SBU officers during the crossing of the Horlivka-Mayorske checkpoint.

Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war who were released from occupied Donbas captivity stand near the Mayorske entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region during the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALERI KVIT 

Roman Fursov

Fursov is a soldier of the 16th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 58th Separate Armored Infantry Brigade. He was captured by militants in November 2017 during a fight near Krymske in the Luhansk region. For some time he was considered dead.

Roman His

His was detained for alleged espionage in favor of Ukraine. The statement of the militants states that His was allegedly recruited by the SBU in July 2017, and by October 2017 he was transmitting data on the movement of vehicles of “DPR” militia to the Ukrainian special services, as well as information about the leader of the “DPR”. In July 2019, His was sentenced by militants to 11 years’ imprisonment.

Andriy Yarovyi

Andriy Yarovyi is a consultant for an initiative to protect the rights of HIV-positive people. He was detained in August 2018 on arrival to the uncontrolled territories for carrying a drug for personal consumption.

In April 2019, Yarovyi was awarded the International Carol and Travis Jenkins Award. This was announced in the city of Porto, Portugal, at the Harm Reduction International Conference.

Roman Korkishko

Korkishko facilitated passenger transportation across the demarcation line. In August 2019, he was sentenced by the so-called “DPR court” to 12 years in prison for allegedly working for the SBU.

Ivan Katyshev

He was a member of the so-called “Ukrainian saboteurs” group. The militants accused him of allegedly "organizing acts of terrorism" in the occupied Luhansk region, as well as the murder of "chief" of the “People's Militia Department of the LPR" Oleg Anashchenko.

Ivan Katyshev who was freed from captivity in the so called Luhansk "people's republic" holds hands with his mother following the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/YEVGEN HONCHARENKO

Anastasiya Mukhina

Mukhina is a 70-year-old resident of occupied Luhansk. She was detained in February 2018 when she affixed a sticker “Donbas, rise up! Russia has betrayed you! Choose the future, choose Ukraine!” on a building wall.

Viktoriya Voronina

24-year-old Voronina was detained and sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly cooperating with the Security Service of Ukraine and "espionage in favor of Ukraine." According to the militants, Voronina was transmitting data on the socio-political status and military affairs in the non-government-controlled city of Luhansk.

Viktoriya Voronina who was released from captivity in occupied Donbas meets her relatives at the Boryspil airport, near Kyiv, Ukraine on December 29. Photo: hromadske

Denys Oliynyk

In the summer of 2019, the “LPR court” sentenced Oliynyk to 12 years in prison for alleged "treason." Also, according to militants, Oliynyk allegedly supplied explosives to sabotage-intelligence groups operating in the non-government-controlled territory of the Luhansk region. “LPR” also claims that Oliynyk was engaged in passenger transportation to the government-controlled territory of Ukraine and was recruited by the SBU whilst crossing a checkpoint in the Zaytseve area.

Anatoliy Semerenko

In August 2016, he was detained by “LPR” militants, and accused of espionage and recruitment of servicemen of the self-proclaimed "republic".

Valeriy Tarasiuk

Tarasiuk is a resident of Antratsyt in the non-government-controlled territory. He helped transport people across the demarcation line. In the winter of 2019, he was sentenced to 13 years on a charge of espionage.

According to militants, Tarasiuk at some point decided to take on more and started transporting weapons, which he disguised as household items and then passed on to the city “undergrounders”.

Vitaliy Buyanov

Militants of the self-proclaimed “LPR” detained Vitaliy Buyanov and subsequently sentenced him to 12 years in prison for allegedly cooperating with Ukrainian nationalists, and accused him of treason. According to militants, Buyanov allegedly cooperated with the Ukrainian battalions Donbas and Azov, and his actions were aimed "against the sovereignty and territorial integrity, defense and information security" of the so-called "republic".

Valeriy Semenov

Self-proclaimed “LPR” militants detained him and sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment for allegedly spying in favor of the SBU.

After his release, he told reporters that constant psychological pressure is exerted on those who are captured by militants, adding that the "republics" are completely controlled by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB): "Whatever Putin says about ‘them not being there’, it's all lies. They have complete control over everything,” Semenov said.

Andriy Kochmuradov and Olena Lazarieva

The married couple Andriy Kochmuradov and Olena Lazarieva disappeared on October 16, 2017. Olena worked as a neurosurgeon at the Donetsk Regional Hospital, Andriy was chief of the advertising department of the Donbas edition of the “Moscow Komsomolets” outlet, and later worked in online business.

According to militants, Lazarieva allegedly photographed her department’s medical records for the SBU, whilst her husband allegedly "leaked" the customer database of his commercial firm to the Ukrainian intelligence agency.

Both were sentenced to 15 years in prison in a strict regime prison in the self-proclaimed “DPR”.

Dmytro Batrak

He was arrested and convicted for espionage in favor of Ukraine. According to the “DPR”, the man allegedly photographed and filmed the administrative buildings of Donetsk, and collected information about the movement and location of military equipment of the so-called "DPR People's Militia" and transmitted it to the SBU.

Nataliya Karachor

Karachor is the chief specialist of the Kramatorsk Education Department. She criticized the city's education department for insufficiently patriotic work with students. She was allegedly detained by militants for her pro-Ukrainian stance as she was traveling to occupied Shakhtarsk. She spent 2 years in captivity.

Whom Ukraine Handed Over

Larisa Chubarova "Tereza"

Chubarova is a 49-year-old Russian resident of Kharkiv. She was detained on April 7, 2015 in Kharkiv. In June 2017, the court found her guilty of participating in illegal armed forces and encroaching on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and sentenced her to 11 years in prison with confiscation of property.

According to the investigation, in 2014, a Russian citizen nicknamed "Tereza" became an active participant in the Kharkiv "Antimaidan" and participated in pro-Russian actions.

In June 2014, she went to the Donetsk region, where she worked under the direction of the "chief of counterintelligence department" of the so-called “DPR Ministry of State Security”. Tereza held the post of "commandant" of several settlements of the Donetsk region captured by militants.

According to the Security Service of Ukraine, she took part in interrogations of local residents and prisoners of war of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Also, as the prosecutor's office found out, Tereza was involved in intelligence — search and transmission of information about personnel, weapons and military equipment of the Armed Forces to "DPR" representatives, as well as logistical support of the militants' activities.

Viktor Tetiutskyi, Serhiy Bashlykov, Volodymyr Dvornikov

The three men were accused of a terrorist attack near the Kharkiv Sports Palace on February 22, 2015 during a pro-Ukrainian walk. The explosion of a landmine laid on the road killed 52-year-old Ihor Tolmachov, 15-year-old Danylo Didik, 18-year-old Mykola Melnychuk, and 37-year-old police officer Vadym Rybalchenko.

After their detention, the SBU stated that Dvornikov, Bashlykov, and Tetiutskyi committed a crime commissioned by Russia. The accused themselves do not admit the guilt and demand absolution.

On December 26, Prosecutor Volodymyr Lymar asked the court to release all three from custody, as Russia included them in the exchange list. The prosecution asked the court to release them under personal recognizance. Within two days, the court found Dvornikov, Tetiutskyi and Bashlykov guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment with confiscation of all property. The time spent in the pre-trial detention center was included in the sentence. Before the verdict came into force, all three were released in the courtroom.

Viktor Tetiutskyi (L) and Serhiy Bashlykov near the Mayorske entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region during the big prisoner exchange on December 29. Photo: EPA-EFE/YEVGEN HONCHARENKO

Oleh Yanishevskyi, Serhiy Zinchenko, Pavlo Abroskin, Serhiy Tamtura, Oleksandr Marynchenko

The five men were accused of killing 48 injuring 80 people on Instytutska Street in February 2014. All five are former Berkut riot police officers. On December 28, the Kyiv Court of Appeal released them on personal recognizance. Activists who disagreed with the court's decision spent a night blocking the Lukyanivske pre-trial detention center where three ex-Berkut men were detained.

From left to right: ex-Berkuters Serhiy Zinchenko, Pavlo Abroskin, and Serhiy Tamtura at the Sviatoshyn District Court on November 14, 2017. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / hromadske

Darya Mastykasheva

Darya Mastykasheva is charged with treason under Article #111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The SBU suspects her of recruiting war veterans in eastern Ukraine to simulate the preparation of terrorist attacks in Russia that could be used by Russian intelligence services to discredit the Ukrainian authorities. Mastykasheva was faced 12 to 15 years in prison.

On December 27, the Chechelivskyi (formerly Krasnohvardiyskyi) Dnipro District Court released her from custody.

Serhiy Dolzhenkov

Dolzhenkov is an anti-Maidan activist known as “Captain Cocoa”. Together with the Russian Evgeny Mefyodov, he took part in the events in Odesa on May 2, 2014.

In 2017, the Chornomorsk court acquitted Dolzhenkov and Mefyodov on the "May 2 case", but the SBU served them with charges in another proceeding -- relating to the events of March 28, 2014 in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv. Then the organization “Odeska Druzhyna” (‘Odesa Militia’), of which they are members, came to the city and held an action, during which they displayed flags of the Russian Federation, the Russian Empire, the Russian Navy, St. George's ribbons and shouted pro-Russian slogans.

In August 2019, Dolzhenkov and Mefyodov were released from the pre-trial detention center on bail of 153,000 hryvnias ($6,400) each. The money was raised by the Opposition Platform - For Life party with the participation of MP Mykola Skoryk. Earlier, Skoryk tried to go bail for Dolzhenkov and Mefyodov, but the Mykolayiv court denied him.

Ruslan Gadzhiev

Ruslan Gadzhiev is a native of Adygea. He took part in the hostilities in the Donbas on the side of self-proclaimed "republics" as a tanker. He was captured in January 2015, and accused of destroying a Ukrainian tank in the fighting near Debaltseve. At the interrogations, he declared that he was detained in Russia for carjacking, but in place of a prison term, he was offered to go to Donbas. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by a Ukrainian court. During the last exchange he was excluded from the list.

Rafael Lusvarghi

Members of the C14 right-wing organization seized Lusvarghi, a Brazilian who was fighting on the side of the “DPR” on May 4, 2018, in Kyiv. He was taken to the SBU. Two days before, on May 2, Lusvarghi was spotted at the Sviato-Pokrovskyi Holosiivskyi Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate.

Prior to that, Ukrainians detained Lusvarghi in October 2016 at Boryspil Airport shortly after his arrival in Ukraine from Brazil.

The investigation established that from September 2014 to May 2015, he was part of the “Viking” First Motorized Rifle Battalion of the First DPR Militants Brigade. In January 2017, the Pechersk Court of Kyiv sentenced Lusvarghi to 13 years in prison.

READ MORE: Kyiv Sentences Brazilian National Who Fought For Moscow-led Forces To 13 Years In Prison

However, on August 18, 2017, the Kyiv Court of Appeal quashed the sentence. According to Lusvarghi’s lawyer, on December 18, 2017, the Pechersk District Court changed the Brazilian's pre-trial detention to personal recognizance as part of a prisoner exchange procedure. Since then, the lawyer noted, Lusvarghi has been in Kyiv.

When a large exchange of prisoners took place between Kyiv and the self-proclaimed “DPR” and “LPR” on December 27, 2017, Lusvarghi was to receive his passport and return to Brazil.

"Despite the agreement and the return of prisoners of war to Ukraine, the passport and travel documents were not returned to the Brazilian by the Ukrainian authorities," said the Brazilian’s lawyer Valentin Rybin at the time.

As we later discovered, transferring Lusvarghi within the framework of a large exchange stalled in order to avoid a potential international scandal. Since he is a Brazilian citizen, Ukraine has no right to pass him on to such quasi-entities as the so-called “DPR”.

Artur Denisultanov

He is accused of attempting to kill Amina Okueva and Adam Osmaev in the summer of 2017. Journalist Katerina Sergatskova reported that Denisultanov was handed over as part of the exchange. Denisultanov's lawyer Oleksiy Driuk declined to comment on this information.

READ MORE: High-Profile Attack on Foreign Fighter in Kyiv, Explained

The attack on Donbas war participants Adam Osmaev and Amina Okueva took place in central Kyiv on June 1, 2017. The attacker shot Osmaev in the chest. In retaliation, Okueva fired several shots at the attacker from her Makarov pistol.

READ MORE: Ukrainian Sniper Amina Okueva Killed in Assassination Ambush