Foreigners taken prisoner by Donetsk region militia - leader

Foreign "mercenaries" have been taken prisoner by militia forces fighting government troops in Ukraine's Donetsk region, a co-head of the government of the "Donetsk People's Republic" said.

Foreign "mercenaries" have been taken prisoner by militia forces fighting government troops in Ukraine's Donetsk region, a co-head of the government of the "Donetsk People's Republic" said.

"Among the prisoners of war there were men of African appearance, there were many nationals of the Czech Republic and Poland, and there were even instances of capturing commanders of mercenaries, who turned out to be Polish nationals," Miroslav Rudenko told Interfax.

He said he did not know what had happened to the captives but added that they might still be under arrest. "It's been a while since I last heard of prisoner swaps," Rudenko said.

On Friday, Donetsk region governor Serhiy Taruta said the militia currently held more than 200 foreigners - nationals of various countries - prisoner. "Today negotiations are in progress that focus on the release of the hostages," a statement from the regional administration quoted Taruta as saying.

Taruta said the talks, in which Donetsk Mayor Olexander Lukyanenko represented the government, were going hard as the militia kept replacing its negotiators.

Read more: Poroshenko switches to Russian language in inaugural speech, says he plans to travel to Donbas

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