- Title: Families of prisoners on both sides of divide in Ukraine's east await reunion
- Date: 27th December 2019
- Summary: CAT SITTING ON CHIGORYAN'S LAP (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOTHER OF SEPARATIST REBEL FIGHTER VITALIY CHIGORYAN, NATALIA CHIGORYAN, SAYING: "He writes (in his letters) that he wants to be back home. That his health is bad, that he doesn't receive any medical treatment. He has Ilizarov external fixator installed. He was wounded in the thigh and stomach. Nobody provides him with medicines. There is no medical treatment." TROUSERS PILED UP (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOTHER OF SEPARATIST REBEL FIGHTER VITALIY CHIGORYAN, NATALIA CHIGORYAN, SAYING: "I don't understand who needed this war, in the first place! Why did they start it all! So many boys have died. A lot! And they were all young boys. It is seldom that older ones die. All of those who lay (in graves) are 17, 18, 20 years old. And it is very hard for the parents who buried their children."
- Embargoed: 10th January 2020 10:41
- Keywords: Russia Ukraine Ukrainian serviceman captivity exchange families imprisoned fighters president Volodymyr Zelenskiy prisoners rebel fighter
- Location: KHARKIV, DONETSK AND HORLIVKA, UKRAINE
- City: KHARKIV, DONETSK AND HORLIVKA, UKRAINE
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA006BBR2Q87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Nadiya Fursova from Ukraine's Kharkiv found out about her husband Roman's captivity when a family friend called her after seeing him on a news channel run by pro-Russian separatists.
Roman was wounded on November 23, 2017 in fighting between the Ukrainian army forces and separatists in eastern Luhansk region.
On the following day, he was captured by the rebels and his whereabouts remain unknown for the family members since then.
Nadiya's daughter Daryna says she now paints to distract herself from thinking about her father's captivity.
Now, Nadiya and Daryna are pinning hopes on a massive prisoner exchange promised to be held by New Year by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Earlier this month, the leaders of Russia and Ukraine agreed in Paris to exchange all remaining prisoners from the conflict by the end of the year.
Previous massive prisoners swap between Ukraine and Moscow-backed rebels was held in December 2017, also right before the New Year.
Ukraine has dozens of prisoners in rebel-held territories, though it is unclear how many separatists are being held in Ukraine.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine that broke out in 2014 has killed more than 13,000 people, left a large swathe of Ukraine de facto controlled by separatists and aggravated the deepest east-west rift since the Cold War. Russia denies providing support to the separatists.
On the separatist side of contact line, another woman is waiting for prisoners exchange.
Mother of rebel fighter Vitaliy Chigoryan from Horlivka in Donetsk region who is kept by Ukrainian authorities said her son was captured by Ukrainian army in August 2019.
(Production: Vitaliy Hnidyy, Sergiy Karazy, Margaryta Chornokondratenko)
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