The assassination of the leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” Alexander Zakharchenko will not affect the exchange of hostages in the Donbas, Hromadske reports.

This was reported behind the scenes of the parliament, said the first vice-speaker of the Council, authorized by the president to settle the situation in the Donbas, Iryna Gerashchenko.

“Moscow and the Kremlin are mowing away their puppets, that  know a lot. The issue of the release of the hostages depends exclusively on the Kremlin. Covering the tracks will not affect this process, “Gerashchenko said, answering the question of the Hromadske.

She added that during the alternate exchange of prisoners in the Donbas, “the Kremlin removed its puppet – Plotnitsky (formerly the leader of the “Luhansk People’s Republic” – ed.).”

However, according to Gerashchenko, the replacement of the leaders of the self-proclaimed “republic” won’t affect the exchange process, “because Putin already gave the signal to prepare an exchange.”

She added that now there are no signals from the Kremlin regarding the next exchange.

The last time the exchange of hostages took place on December 27, 2017. This is the first in two years and the only exchange. According to the SBU, 73 hostages have returned to the controlled territory. Ukraine transferred 233 people to the occupied territory.

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