Some 900 Mariupol Defenders Remain In Russian Captivity Azov Brigade Commander


(MENAFN- UkrinForm) Russia is still holding 900 Ukrainian defenders as prisoners of war.

This was reported by the Commander of the Azov Brigade (National Guard), Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko , reports Ukrinform.

He praised the latest POW swap on January 31 when 207 Ukrainian servicemen were released.

"I am happy for everyone who regained freedom, and I wish for their speedy recovery.

I'm sincerely happy over the liberation from enemy captivity of the two soldiers from the National Guard's 12th Azov Brigade, who, after the Azov unit was expanded from a regiment to a brigade, became part of our military family.

Read also: Yusov on prisoner swap: Russia did not return POWs who were on exchange list on day of Il-76 crash

However, my joy over their return is overshadowed by the fact that the families of soldiers who defended Mariupol as part of the Azov Regiment do not see the names of their loved ones on the swap lists again. In all the exchanges since the full-scale invasion, only a few times have the names of my brothers-in-arms appeared in them. Although more than one and a half years have passed since we received the order to stop defending Mariupol.

More than 900 Azov fighters remain in Russian captivity, who decently held the defense in Mariupol and for 86 days did not allow the enemy to pull their forces and equipment in a timely manner to further advance toward Zaporizhzhia," said Prokopenko.

He added that the Azov forces are repelling the invaders in the forests of Kreminna, eliminating and capturing Russian invaders, harboring hope that the Ukrainian government agencies are making sufficient efforts to free Ukrainian heroes.

Read also: Zelensky: We will do everything to return everyone from captivity

As reported earlier, during the 50th POW exchange, which took place on January 31, a total of 207 Ukrainian defenders were returned from Russian captivity, including 95 Army servicemen, 56 National Guardsmen, 26 border guards, 29 soldiers with the Territorial Defense Force, and a policeman.

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