On Wednesday evening, it became known that Kyiv exchanged prisoners with the Russian side. Azovstal defenders are among those dismissed.
As one of the commanders of the “Azov” regiment, Maksym Zhorin, reported, the exchange of prisoners took place on Wednesday evening, and some of the “Azov” soldiers were 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. All the details will come later,” he said in Telegram.
The fact of the prisoner exchange was confirmed by Petro Andryushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol.
“Good news for the night. While the exchange is in progress, you can’t talk about everything. But at least the head of the patrol police (Mariupol – ed.) Mykhailo Vershinin was released from captivity. The heroic garrison of Mariupol is slowly returning home,” Andryushchenko wrote in Telegram.
He also published a photo with several released Ukrainians.
According to reports, among those released are medic Kateryna (“Bird”) Polishchuk, Mykhailo Dianov, senior sergeant of the 36th brigade (known from the photo with the wounded arm), head of the Mariupol patrol police Mykhailo Vershinin and others.
So far, there is no information on the exact number of released prisoners.
On May 20, the Ministry of Defense of Russia announced that the Azovstal plant in Mariupol had come under the control of Russian forces. The Russian agency said that a total of 2,439 Ukrainian military personnel who were on the territory of the plant “surrendered.” Subsequently, several dozen were exchanged for Russian prisoners.
On the night of July 29, one of the barracks of the correctional colony in the village of Olenivka in Donetsk region, occupied by Russian forces, was destroyed. At least 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were held there died. Azov fighters could also be among the prisoners. Ukraine still has not received official lists of the dead prisoners of war in Olenivka.
On September 18, the Russian mass media reported that due to the alleged shelling by the Armed Forces of the colony in Olenivka in Donetsk region (this colony was already subject to destruction by Russian forces – ed.) one Ukrainian captured soldier died and four were wounded. The Ukrainian side stated that it does not have information about the victims of the shelling.