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Mariupol Defender Orest is awarded Polish prize for his photo from Azovstal

Friday, 3 June 2022, 18:55

Diana Krechetova, Ukrainska Pravda.Zhyttia — FRIDAY, 3 JUNE 2022

Dmytro Kozatskyi, the defender of Mariupol and Azov Regiment photographer known by his call sign "Orest", who has published photos from Azovstal, has been awarded a special prize in the Polish Grand Press Photo awards 2022.

This has been announced on the website of Grand Press Photo, where you can also see impressive photos of the Ukrainian soldiers who defended Azovstal to the last.


Now Orest is in Russian captivity.

"We believe that Dmytro will receive this certificate from us personally during next year's competition. We are waiting for him, alive and well," said Weronika Mirowska, President of the Grand Press Foundation.

Dmytro Kozatskyi’s last Instagram post dates back to 20 May, the day before he left the Azovstal steelworks.

"Well, that's it. I am grateful for Azovstal’s shelter  -  the place of my death and my life." That’s how Orest captioned his photograph depicting the total ruins which Russian shelling had turned the plant into.

On the same day on Twitter, the defender asked [his followers] to share his pictures and enter them into as many competitions as they could.

"While I’m in captivity, I’ll leave you the best quality photos; send them to all the journalism awards and photography contests. If I win something, it will be really nice after I’m released. Thank you all for your support. See you," he wrote. 

The photography contest was won by Washington Post photojournalist Wojciech Grzędziński. His photo shows a Ukrainian woman, Iryna Maniukina, playing the piano in her apartment in Bila Tserkva, which had been destroyed by an aerial bomb.

The photographer emphasised that one of the extraordinary moments of this war was the "moment of the strength and heroism" of Ukrainians.

"Ukrainians give new meaning to the word 'humanism'. I can't describe the fact that Iryna allowed me to be in her house, which had been bombed shortly before, and her daughter was wounded. Irina did her thing - she played, I did my thing, too," said Grzędziński during the awards ceremony.

Background: On 20 May the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation stated that all the Azovstal fighters had been evacuated [from the plant] and there were 2,439 people, whom the Russians consider prisoners of war. On 30 May, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reported that it had information about Ukrainian fighters from Azovstal, but it is currently classified.