"As I promised at a press conference [on Feb. 28], two more Ukrainians have been released from captivity. These are our border guards, Bohdan Martson and Ihor Dziubak. The aggressors abducted them in Sumy region on Oct. 3, 2017. Welcome home, guys!" Poroshenko wrote on social media, Censor.NET reports.
Ukrainian border guards Bohdan Martson and Ihor Dziubak abducted by the Russian secret services near the state border in Sumy region in October 2017, were swapped on March 2 for two servicemen of the Border Guard Service of the Russian Federal Security Service Vladimir Kuznetsov and Askar Kulub, who were detained in Kherson region last summer. The swap took place on the neutral strip of the Ukrainian-Russian border near the Hoptivka border-crossing point (the Kharkiv region).
The exchange could be watched live via CCTV cameras installed at the Hoptivka border-crossing point.
First Deputy Chairwoman of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Herashchenko wrote on social media that the hostages were released due to the efforts made by the president, the Security Service, Ukrainian diplomats, the humanitarian group in Minsk, and border guards.
Photos from Petro Poroshenko, Iryna Herashchenko Facebook pages
Video by Radio Svoboda
On Oct. 3, 2017, two officers of Znob-Novhorodske unit of the Sumy border guard service were monitoring a section of the state border, when connection with them was lost at around 8 p.m. Later, Russian media reported of detention by FSB border detachment of two 'violators' who called themselves Sumy unit border guards.
On Oct. 9, 2017, Russian court arrested the officers for two months for alleged illegal border crossing. Ukrainian consul is not allowed to visit the prisoners. A meeting of border guard representatives of Ukraine and the Russian Federation regarding the detained Ukrainian border guards was supposed to take place in Bryansk, Russia, on Oct. 9, but was sabotaged by the Russian side.
On June 30, 2017, Ukrainian border guards and Armed Forces fighters detained two border guard officers of Russia's Security Service (FSB). Later, the court ruled to sentence both of them to 15 days of administrative arrest and a fine of 320 hryvnia each ($12). All seized property would be returned, including the boat that the saboteurs used to enter mainland Ukraine from occupied Crimea.