Exchange of prisoners: as it was

At the Kremlin, Putin called from Berlin. And it was Angela Merkel — Chancellor of Germany. It supported a joint project “Northern stream-2” and noted progress in the negotiations on gas transit through Ukraine in the New year. In addition, the press service of the Kremlin said that the leaders of Russia and Germany welcomed in the Donbass, the exchange of detained persons under the scheme “all installed all installed”.

of Course, Putin and Merkel exchanged congratulations on the occasion of Christmas and New year and agreed on further contacts.

How did the prisoner exchange?

These buses from Ukraine we were waiting at the venue from 6am. At the same time observing how care was training. Were responsible for safety of the Ministry of interior. Reinforced patrols. Hidden observation posts. The sniper position. The mouse does not slip. At 9am there were the first buses from the DNR.

With the last exchange it took exactly two years and two days. But the experience is not lost. Nothing to complain about. An ideal organization. Once finished with the prisoners of war from Donetsk, then Luhansk arrived column.

Approval of lists went all night before the exchange. Probably the most sleepless night for those who have said that they are listed.

In the two detention centres of Donetsk and Luhansk and in several colonies there were those who will transfer to the Ukrainian side. Some in detention for three months, others six months. But there are those who were captured at the beginning of hostilities. In past lists to exchange their names are not included — there was no confirmation from Ukraine. But the strike over negotiating partners here, in jail, keep the representative of the DNI.

Confirmed Vasily Konstantinovich proved on the exchange in all its glory. A medal for Ukraine said sure. Promised to return to Donetsk on a white horse.

“If possible, I want to serve further,” — admitted prisoner Vasily Jamnicky.

To meet my son, everything is ready. On the tree — toys, of which twenty-eight years. Just bought in the year when Vitaly was born. He went to the front at the beginning of hostilities. In Gorlovka so did most men.

Three wounds — two to the stomach and one in the leg. Captured in battle. All the information about the son of Natalia receives from the red cross. Calls every day, listens to the steps in the stairwell. Seven steps to native threshold — as a ladder to infinity.

Vitaly Kulagin under guard for a week. He came to the checkpoint DND with guns, drunk, demanded continuation of the Banquet. Had to arrest. His captivity began with tours of the Donetsk and the surrounding area. Being a witness of those events, I told Vitali what happened at the Kiev Avenue in July 2014.

At the foot of the memorial in the center of the city — is not a complete list of children killed during the war.

the Other side of Donetsk. Like yesterday there was shelling. Homes are broken, things have not recovered. The traffic is not busy.

At the Kiev Avenue buses turned around. Further travel there, but no one to go, because no place to live. The area of the airport. Street Stratonavtov. Ukrainian artillery ironed this low-rise Donetsk a few months. You can hear how the wind blows through a broken home. On the street — ringing silence.

Vitali said that waiting for the exchange, and at the end thinking whether to go home. Besides the threat of imprisonment for desertion, but also can back, to the front line.

But war is war, but became quiet. Ten kilometers from the center of Donetsk, if in a straight line.

four kilometers away is the famous filter plant. Her Ukrainian troops. Here’s yet secure. But shields are reminded of what happened yesterday.

the sound of the guns let the fighters believe in the fairy tale of a cease-fire, constantly sounding from Kiev. From the Ukrainian side and will fly mine or a shell. Folk the police is silent, fire in response not open. Dug well.

Cool Beam pain point on the map of Donetsk people’s Republic. It is actually in a gray area. Before was between two fires. Now suffering from Ukrainian artillery. But even here people are not embittered. I understand how hard those who were captured.

“we do Not have people to languish. Of course, everyone has their own concept. They have their own truth, our own. But that people were locked up somewhere in pain… their family is there, everyone wants to be there,” — say the locals.

the Procedure lasted for nearly eight hours. It ended when the last buses, accompanied by OSCE staff left in the direction of Ukraine.

Perhaps some of these people, unwittingly, will help to stop the fighting in the Donbass. Because the land, as they say, is rife with rumors. But these soldiers have something to tell you.

Ukraine welcomed the New year, looking back on old. It elected President Vladimir Zelensky. He did what was in its potential to breed in certain parts of the Armed forces from Donbass, to start the exchange of prisoners and to sign the formula Steinmeier on the special status of Donbass. Thanks to all this, a meeting was held in Paris in the Normandy format. The result is a personal Acquaintance of Putin and Zelensky was held on 9 December. Then agreed that the Minsk agreements are inviolable and cannot be changed. Before the New year fire at the demarcation line have to completely stop, and prisoners by the formula “all installed all installed” — exchange.

the Event today. ‘The tripartite Contact group will be to coordinate all legal aspects of the special order of local self-government for Donbass. If it goes successfully, the new meeting could take place in Berlin, somewhere in April.

the Agreement on gas deliveries and transit to Europe — Ukraine yet, but the preliminary Protocol is signed. For the supply and transit it is not enough, but hope to have time remains.

Text: “News of the week”