The swap of imprisoned persons between Ukraine and Russia on Dec. 29, 2019 may have essential consequences both for regional and world policy. Firstly, it showed that the life, health and security of its citizens are the prime values for Ukraine, and these values are worth to enter negotiations with the aggressor. Secondly, after accept of the terms of exchange, Russia confirmed itself as the party of conflict. Otherwise there is no explanation why civilians and military servants taken by DPR/LPR were returned to Ukraine after direct talks of Ukrainian and Russian presidents. With this swap, Russia confirmed it has full control over the so-called “people’s republics” and therefore Russia is aggressor party to the conflict.
It is highly important to check the list of persons whom Ukraine transferred to Russia to return its citizens. By examining this list, we may face such shocking facts, which completely reject the theses of Russian propaganda about “innocent victims” and give us clear vision of those who are supported by Russia and treated as its friends.
The list of those whom Russia requested included Sergey Bashlykov, Viktor Tetiutskiy, Vladimir Dvornikov, found guilty and sentenced for organizing the explosion during the pro-Ukrainian meeting in Kharkiv, held on Feb. 22, 2015.
Another person, returned to Russia is Sergey Veselov, resident of Kharkiv who was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment for series of terror attacks (attacks on Ordjonikidze and Frunze military registration and enlistment offices in Kharkiv, for preparing explosions in Zaliutino, Shebelinka and Novojanovo railway stations, for shooting at the Kharkiv regional gaz company and the office of lawyer Oleg Golovkov, who provided legal support to Ukrainian military).
Marina Kovtun, sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for exploding Kharkiv local pub “Stena” and illicit arms trafficking was also returned to Russia. We have to admit that it was terror attack on civil building, usually visited by large number of people.
Russia also included Brazilian mercenary Rafael Lusvarghi in the exchange list, who took part in war actions against Ukrainian military forces on behalf of the so-called “LPR”. It is worth mentioning that Lusvarghi pleaded guilty during the trial, showed deep remorse and was sentenced to 13 years on various charges. Such person is treated by Russia as an “innocent victim” and probably believed to be exemplary citizen.
Including their own citizens in the exchange list – i.e. Ruslan Gadjiev, the resident of Stavropol region, who joined illegal paramilitary group “Avgust” seems to be more conscious decision of Russia.
Russia also took Sergey Doljenkov, also known as “Captain Cacao”. He was an informal leader of separatist movement in Odessa and organized violent clashes of May, 2014 followed by numerous victims.
This exchange list can be continued, because Ukraine returned 123 persons to Russia, though information is available about 45 names only. It seems like it would be too tough blow to Russia’s reputation to reveal the names and the charges of other 78 persons returned. Even these personalities and their cases give us clear view of who Russia want to make free by any means – terrorists, riot participants, criminals, foreign mercenaries.
Basically, the information about persons requested by Russia is very eloquent – all these people have information about the participation of Russia in the conflict, though that participation is diligently rejected by Russia.