The transfer of former Berkut officers was a condition of mutual release in the format of “all identified for all identified”. The decision was political, it was a difficult one, but it will not affect the investigation of crimes against Maidan activists, as stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“As for Berkut officers, yes, this is a condition of this release “all for all”. We were bringing our heroes back. I think it was a difficult decision. The decision was political – it is true,” the President said after meeting the Ukrainians who returned to the territory controlled by Ukraine as part of the largest release of detainees in Ukraine’s history.
“If they had stayed, we would not have received our intelligence officers, would not have received the guys who were defending Ukraine, were in Debaltseve,” the Head of State added.
According to him, the main priority in the process of mutual liberation is the return of citizens alive.
“I think our warriors, military, journalists are all heroes. Unfortunately, we cannot bring the dead back. But we could bring those alive back. This exchange could have been disrupted at any second of any day. That’s why I acted as President of Ukraine. My answer is very simple: I was bringing those alive back. And that’s the main thing,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.
In addition, the President promised that the inclusion of former Berkut officers in the lists of mutual release would not affect the investigation of Maidan cases.
“It will not affect the cases of Maidan in any way. As I promised, we will finish the investigation of Maidan cases. Definitely,” he said.