Donetsk, Feb 27 — DAN. The Ukrainian servicemen held prisoner in the Donetsk People’s Republic number in the thousands, DPR Acting Head Denis Pushilin said.

“This figure runs into thousands, ” Pushilin told Russia 24 channel.

He noted that a part of the Ukrainian POWs in the Republic are beginning to realize their guilt and deem it their duty to make amends. They leave for the battlefield to fight on the side of Russia as members of the Bogdan Khmelnitsky volunteer battalion.

“Very many captives realize only here what is happening and for what and against whom they have been fighting. Having realized that war crimes are committed with their hands, too, a part of the prisoners — I won’t say it’s a small part — believe it to be the right thing to make amends and leave for the battlefield to defend their new position, ” Pushilin said.

He added that the effectiveness of this initiative would be assessed later on.

Earlier reports said that some 200 Ukrainian POWs were willing to join the Bogdan Khmelnitsky volunteer battalion which was being formed in the Donetsk People’s Republic.*jk