Andrii Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, has reported that 45 Ukrainian defenders have been brought back from Russian captivity.
Source: Yermak on Telegram
Quote: "They are 42 men and three women who defended Azovstal [the steelworks in Mariupol – ed.].
All of them are fighters from a regiment of the National Guard that was founded nine years ago on the Azov Sea coast.
35 privates and sergeants, 10 officers.
Among them are soldiers who got married during the defence of Mariupol, at Azovstal.
There is also one soldier who was held captive by the Russians for two and a half years before the full-scale invasion, having been captured during the Shyrokyne operation.
Later, he was released from captivity and immediately went back to the unit. He was captured again at Azovstal and is coming home today."
Details: Russia, meanwhile, said it had brought back three pilots "following difficult negotiations".
Update: Yermak was alluding to the Azov Regiment when he said that the freed prisoners were "fighters from a regiment of the National Guard that was founded nine years ago on the Azov Sea coast".
Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets later added that "this unit celebrated its nine-year anniversary on 5 May".
It was on 5 May 2014 that the Azov Regiment (then the Azov Battalion) was established in Berdiansk, being formally incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine in November 2014.