The head of the Office of the President, Andriy Yermak, announced last night that Ukraine has returned 215 soldiers from Russian captivity. According to him, 108 of them are fighters of the “Azov” regiment.
According to him, Kyiv handed over to Moscow the godfather of Vladimir Putin, Viktor Medvedchuk, a total of 55 Russian prisoners.
“Denys Prokopenko of Redis, Serhiy Volynskyi of Volyn, Svyatoslav Palamar, Denys Shlega, Oleg Khomenko – commanders from Azovstal – are already safe. This is the result of personal agreements between President Zelensky and President Erdogan. The Russians wanted to blackmail us with their lives, but we won’t let them do that with anyone. Among those released are also 10 foreigners who fought for Ukraine and were threatened with death. They are already in the city of Riyadh. We exchanged 200 of our heroes with Medvedchuk, who has already given all possible evidence to the investigation. And 5 heroes-commanders of “Azovstal” are 55 Russian prisoners of no interest to us,” Yermak said on Facebook.
Yermak clarified that the exchange of prisoners took place in several stages and in different locations.
“It was a difficult process… I sincerely congratulate our heroes for returning to their homeland. We will provide them with all necessary help – medical, social and any other. Their return is a credit to the people of Ukraine. The value of every defender of Ukraine, everyone who secures their backs,” said the head of the OPU.
Earlier in the telethon broadcast, Yermak also announced that three pregnant servicemen had been released.
The first inmates started showing up late Tuesday. Among those released, the names of doctor Kateryna (“Birds”) Polishchuk, Mykhailo Dianov, the senior sergeant of the 36th brigade (known for the photo with the injured hand), the head of the Mariupol patrol police Mykhailo Vershinin, author of the famous photo with a beam of light in “Azovstal” Dmytro Kozatsky and others.
On May 20, the Azovstal factory in Mariupol came under the control of the Russian Federation. The Russian agency reported that a total of 2,439 Ukrainian servicemen who were on the grounds of the factory “surrendered”. Several dozen were then exchanged for Russian prisoners.
On the evening of July 29, one of the barracks of the penal colony in the village of Olenivka in the Donetsk region, which was occupied by Russian forces, was destroyed. At least 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war held there died. Azov fighters could be among the prisoners. Ukraine of dead prisoners of war in Olenivka.
On September 18, Russian media reported that due to the alleged shelling by the Armed Forces of the colony in Olenivka in the Donetsk region (this colony was already destroyed by Russian forces – ed.) one captured Ukrainian soldier died and four were wounded. The Ukrainian side said it had no information about the victims of the bombing.
source: radio svoboda