The ’35 for 35 prisoner swap’ between Russia and Ukraine that took place on September 7. Mainstream media outlets widely covered this developments heroizing terrorists and killers handed over by Russia to Ukraine. However, very little was said about the people handed over to Russia by Ukraine (if we ignore the Dutch hysteria on the handover of the supposed MH17 case witness Vladimir Tsemah).
The explanation is simple – 22 of the 35 people handed over to Russia are Ukrainian citizens, one person is a Moldova citizen, and 8 persons are citizens of Russia. The data on 4 more people is yet to be released.
Where are thousands of ‘Russian troops’ that invaded Ukraine? Where are captured Russia intelligence and special forces officers? Where are at least thousands of Russian citizens that came to particiapte in the conflict? After the ‘5 years of Russian invasion’, the Ukrainian regime is handing over own citizens to Russia in the framework of the ‘prisoners swap’.So, it appears that ‘bloody dictator’ Vladimir Putin is rescuing Ukrainians from Ukraine by returning to the Kiev regime other Ukrainians (some of them obvious terrorists that tried to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia).
Let’s take a look at the list of the 35 people handed over to Russia from Ukraine:
- Denis Khitrov and Elena Bobovaya (citizens of Ukraine) – they were detained in Odessa in 2017 on suspicion of ‘high treason’.
- Pyotr Melnichuk (a citizen of Moldova) – he was detained the framework of the case involving Khitrov and Bobovaya.
- Antonina Rodionova (a Ukrainain citizen) – she was a clerk in the service of radiation, chemical, biological protection of the environmental safety service of the Ukrainian National Guard. She was detained in 2016 after a trip to Russia. She was sentenced to four years in prison for treason.
- Kirill Vyshinsky (a Ukrainian citizen that got a Russian citizenship in 2015) – a journalist working in Kiev. He was the head of the Ukrainian branch of Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency. In 2018, he was charged with treason and backing the fighters from the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine. Since then, Ukrainian security services have not been able to provide any evidence confirming their claims. So, the case remains open in court.
- Evgeny Mefedov (a Russian citizen) – he workwed as a taxi driver in Odessa. He was accused by Ukrainian authorities of being involved in riots in Odessa on May 2, 2014. He strongly denies the claim. In September 2017, he was released because of the lack of any evidence confirming the initial claim, but then again arrested on new charges of violent acts to overthrow state power and of infringing on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. He was released from custody seven times due to insufficient evidence. Nonetheless, the Kiev regime continued detaining him again and again.
- Alexander Baranov and Maxim Odintsov (citizens of Ukraine) – the former Ukrainian military servicemembers. After the 2014 events, they remained in Crimea where joined the Russian Armed Forces. They were detained at the Chongar checkpoint north of Crimea in November 2016.
- Vladimir Tsemakh (a Ukrainian citizen) – he was a member of the air defense unit of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Ukrainian special forces kidnapped Tsemakh in the DPR and moved him to Kiev in June. According to initial claims by Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU), they detained the driver of a towing truck that transported Buk missile involved in the incident with Boeing 777 of Malaysian Airlines (flight MH17) over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. However, later, the SBU was forced to denounce its own claims. Tsemakh’s air defense unit consisted of one vehicle with Zu-23 anti-aircraft gun and was not deployed near the incident site when the tragedy took place.
- Viktor Ageev (a Russian citizen) – he was captured by the Ukrainian military in 2017 at the contact line with the Luganks People’s Republic (LPR). According to the SBU, he was a machine gunner of a separate reconnaissance company of LPR forces. Since 2014, multiple volunteers from Russia have come to the region of Donbass to participate in the local resistance against the Kiev regime.
- Andrey Vaskovsky (a Ukrainian citizen) – he is a former SBU service member. In 2018, Vaskovsky was arrested in the high treason case.
- Ruslan Gadzhiev (a Russian citizen) – he came to Donbass in 2014 to join local self-defense forces and participate in the reistance against the Kiev regime. The Ukrainian Armed Forces captured him during the battle for Debaltseve in 2015.
- Pavel Chernykh and Olga Kovalis (Russian citizens) – they are a married couple detained in 2015 in the Donetsk region by Ukrainian authorities on suspicion of supporting the DPR.
- Taras Sinichak (a Ukrainian citizen) – he is a former officer of the Ukrainian Navy. After the 2014 events he remained in Crimea. Two years later came to the territory of Ukraine, where he was detained for treason.
- Alexei Sedikov (a Russian citizen) – in 2016 he went to Ukraine to join self-defense forces of the LPR. He was captured by the Ukrainian Army a few months later.
- Yuri Lomako (a Ukrainian citizen) – she is a retired Ukrainian military servicemen. According to the Ukrainian version, he was recruited by Russian special services in 2015 during a trip to his relatives in Crimea.
- Dmitry Korenovsky (a citizen of Ukraine) – a sculptor from Nikolaev. He was detained in the summer of 2018 on suspicion of treason – Ukrainian security services claimed that he sent to Russia data about movements of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
- Viktor Fedorov (a citizen of Ukraine) – he was detained in the framework of the same case as Korenovsky.
- Anna Dubenko (a citizen of Ukraine) – she was a service member of the Ukrainian military unit in the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region. In the court, she admitted to spying for the DPR. Dubenko was released from the pre-trial detention center in 2017.
- Stanislav Yezhov (a citizen of Ukraine) – he is a former translator for then Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman. He was accused of high treason. According to investigators, Yezhov sent important information about the economy, foreign policy and defense of Ukraine to Russian special services.
- Arkady Zhidkih (a Russian citizen) – he was a member of the Vostok brigade of the DPR. Zhidkih was captured by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2015.
- Denis Sidorov (a Russian citizen) – he participated in the conflict in eastern Ukraine as a volunteer of local resistance forces. In 2016, he was captured by the Ukrainian military.
- Igor Kimakovsky (a Russian citizen) – in 2015, he was detained by Ukrainian border guards. The SBU called Kimakovsky an “agent of the FSB.” Other sources describe Kumakovsky as a humanitarian volunteer.
- Sergey Lazarev (a Ukrainian citizen) – a former Ukrainian military service member. According to the Ukrainian side, he provided the Russian intelligence services with information about the aviation of Ukraine. He was detained in 2017.
- Vladimir Galich (a Ukrainian citizen) – he is a former deputy of the Sevastopol City Council. He was detained in 2015 and accused of high treason.
- Sergei Gnatyev (a Ukrainian citizen) – he was accused of assaulting a Ukrainian ‘volunteer battalion’ member, nationalist Vitaliy Regor.
- Andrei Tretyakov (a Ukrainian citizen, from Crimea) – he was detained in 2017. The Ukrainian side says that the was a member of self-defense forces of the DPR.
- Alexey Lazarenko (a Ukrainian citizen) – an employee of the Ukrainian company Migremont that allegedly collaborated with Russian intelligence.
- Alexander Sattarov (a Ukrainian citizen) – he is a former service member of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ special detachment Berkut. He was detained in 2017.
- Alexander Rakushchin (a Ukrainian citizen) – he is a former officer of the Ukrainian Army. He was detained in June 2019. According to investigators, he was recruited by Russian special services in 2017.
- Yulia Prosolova (a Ukrainian citizen, from Donetsk) – she was accused of mining the car of SBU colonel Alexander Kharaberyush. She was detained in 2017 when she entered territory controlled by Ukraine to replace her passport.
- Details on Sergey Kovernik, Andrei Kostenko, Alexey Lazarenko and Alexandra Tarasenko are yet to be released.
In the current conditions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is using the prisoner swap to demonstrate a success of its policy and convince the audience that he’s fulfilling his election promises (to put an end to the war in eastern Ukraine and further).
The real situation is still quite different. The military situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense. The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue carrying out daily artillery and mortar strikes on territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. DPR and LPR forces respond.
At the same time, the Zelensky administration is pushing a reform that would allow to sell Ukrainian land to foreign investors. Currently, there is a moratorium in Ukraine, which prohibits foreigners from registering legal entities in the country, but that is to change after the land reform in the country planned for summer 2020. Therefore, the prisoner swap may appear to be a mere PR move needed to hide other ‘less successful’ developments related to the Zelensky administration’s policy.
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- Russia And Ukraine Complete 35 For 35 Prisoner Swap
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