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The Ukrainian military, who defended Mariupol and the Azovstal plant, returned to Ukraine as a result of a prisoner exchange. It is reported by “Suspilne” with reference to representatives Regiment “Azov”.
“There was an exchange of prisoners, some of the Azov people are at home. Finally, we were able to return another part of the defenders of Mariupol, including the fighters of the Azov regiment. Tonight was the exchange we’ve been waiting for, reported former commander of the Azov regiment Maxim Zhorin.
According to Suspilna, among those released in the photos that are being distributed online are the head of the Mariupol patrol police Mikhail Vershinin, paramedic Ekaterina Polishchuk (“Bird”) and senior sergeant of the 36th brigade Mikhail Dianov. The latter was captured in one of the most famous photographs from Azovstal.
Hromadske informsthat the deputy commander of the Azov regiment Svyatoslav Palamar (Kalina) and the commander of the Azov regiment Denis Prokopenko (Radis) were also released from captivity. TSN.ua writes about the release of Dmitry Kozatsky, the author of the photo with the wounded soldiers of Azovstal.
RBC-Ukraine claimsthat the defenders of Azovstal were exchanged for a Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. Russian “military correspondents” report that 55 prisoners of war have been handed over to the Russian Federation. Another 30 people are expected to be handed over on September 22.
The Russian authorities have not yet confirmed the information about the exchange of prisoners.
The Ukrainian military held out at the Mariupol Azovstal plant for two months before surrendering in mid-May. This was preceded by massive bombardments and assault attempts by pro-Russian forces. It was reported that 2.5 thousand soldiers from Azovstal were in Russian captivity, including fighters of the Azov regiment.
On September 21, it became known that Russia, through the mediation of Saudi Arabia, released 10 foreigners captured in Ukraine from captivity. Among them are Britons Aiden Eslin, Sean Pinner and Moroccan citizen Saadoun Brahim, who were sentenced to death in the self-proclaimed DPR for mercenarism.
On the defense of Azovstal
- What role did Azovstal’s resistance play in this war? Could the Ukrainian military hold the plant further? We answer the main questions about the defense of Mariupol