ALONA MAZURENKO – THURSDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2022, 00:10
Denys Prokopenko (aka Redis), Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard of Ukraine and Commander of the Azov Regiment, and Sviatoslav Palamar (aka Kalyna), Deputy Commander of the Azov Regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine, have been released from Russian captivity. The two of them led the defence of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
Source: Serhii Velychko (aka Chili), Commander of the Kraken Special Unit, on Telegram; Andrii Biletskyi, former Commander of the Azov Regiment
Details: Velychko has posted a photo of the freed prisoners on his Telegram channel, Chili & Co Kharkiv.
Serhii Volynkskyi ("Volyna"), Commander of the 36th Marine Brigade, has also been released from captivity alongside Prokopenko and Palamar.
In the photo they are joined by Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, and Denys Monastyrskyi, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.
Quote from Biletskyi: "I just spoke to Redis, Kalyna and Apis – they’re all in good spirits and are even keen to rejoin the fight. Yet another confirmation that Azov [fighters] really are made of steel.
Our guys have already been released but are currently in a third country; they have been taken there as part of the exchange agreement. They will remain there for a while, but the main event has already happened – they are alive and free."
Details: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine said that the Ukrainian defenders are currently in Turkey.
Ukrainska Pravda reports that Ukraine has handed Viktor Medvedchuk over to Russia. [A businessman and pro-Russian politician], he is the godfather of Putin’s daughter and is suspected of treason in Ukraine.
Ukrainska Pravda sources have also said that the prisoner exchange was agreed on Sunday, 18 September.
A total of 215 Ukrainian defenders were released as part of the prisoner exchange held on 21 September.
So far, the following Ukrainian defenders are confirmed to have been released: Mykhailo Vershynin, Chief of Mariupol Traffic Police; Kateryna Polishchuk (aka Ptashka), a paramedic; Mykhailo Dianov, Staff Sergeant of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade; Mariana Mamontova, a pregnant paramedic; Dmytro Kozatskyi of the Azov Regiment. Their photos have been shared all over the world.