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Azov Regiment Commander Denys Prokopenko hands over his command

Saturday, 18 June 2022, 22:36
Azov Regiment Commander Denys Prokopenko hands over his command


Denys Prokopenko, Commander of the Azov Regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine, has handed over his duties to Major Mykyta Nadtochii.

Source: Major Nadtochii in a comment for Radio Svoboda


Quote from Nadtochii: "It was just a Telegram message [from Denys Prokopenko - ed.], which said ‘whenever you are ready to assume the position, contact such and such people, and then go and assume command until I return’."

Details: Prokopenko is currently a prisoner of war in Russia.

During the siege of Mariupol, Nadtochii commanded the second battalion of the Azov Regiment.

Nadtochii said that he was wounded in fighting at Azovstal in March, during the early days of the siege of Mariupol. While attempting to transport the deceased and wounded to the hospital on the territory of Azovstal, a rocket launched from a Russian assault aircraft exploded right next to him. Fragments from the rocket hit Nadtochii’s head, both legs, stomach, and left arm.

On 21 March, Ukrainian helicopters evacuated Nadtochii alongside other severely wounded soldiers. He was among the first people to be evacuated by helicopter from Azovstal.

According to Nadtochii, the helicopters first delivered food, and then began to evacuate the severely wounded, including himself.

Read also: An Island of Hope: How the Azovstal defenders got out and where they are now


  • Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksii Danilov has said that most of the Ukrainian soldiers evacuated from Mariupol are in the occupied territory of Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainska Pravda sources in the Ukrainian government have confirmed that all 2,449 people who left Azovstal are now held in Olenivka, an urban-type settlement in the Donetsk region, as prisoners of war.
  • Mariupol defenders were able to leave Azovstal for Russian-controlled territory of Ukraine between 16 and 20 May. According to Russia, 2,439 soldiers left Azovstal bunkers. The International Committee of the Red Cross representatives registered the Ukrainian soldiers leaving Azovstal as prisoners of war.
  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has stated that the defenders of Mariupol had completed their combat mission, and unit commanders had been ordered to save the lives of military personnel. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence insisted that the only way to rescue Ukrainian soldiers defending Azovstal was to follow the above-mentioned procedure.
  • Some Russians and their collaborators from the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts threaten Ukrainian soldiers with a "tribunal." Prisoner exchange has not yet been confirmed, despite previous agreements.