DONETSK, June 9 (RIA Novosti) – The international community should tackle the issue of prisoners detained in Ukraine during clashes between independence supporters and the Ukrainian army and Russia should be a mediator, one of the republic’s leaders told RIA Novosti.
“The final stage is as follows. When the dust settles, when it is clear where the border is, a special mission including the OSCE, the UN, the whole world should be set up, with Russia as a mediator and sent to Kiev. [It must] visit every single cell and free everyone person detained on charges of inciting separatism and unrest,” Leonid Baranov said.
He also said that a special committee for issues relating to war prisoners and refugees started its work in the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic. Baranov was appointed to head the committee.
According to Baranov, the committee is currently compiling lists of prisoners detained by independence supporters and those taken captive by the Kiev side.
In mid-May the Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republics held referendums on self-determination. Following the vote, the two declared independence from Ukraine triggering condemnation from the authorities in Kiev, which said they would never recognize the results of the vote.
Earlier in April, the government launched a punitive operation to quell independence supporters. Military actions, which have already led to numerous casualties, still continue.
Many people were also reported missing and detained in the two republics amid the ongoing tensions, including journalists, international observers, military forces and officials.