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Zelenskyy brings defenders of Azovstal from Türkiye to Ukraine

Saturday, 8 July 2023, 16:25
Zelenskyy brings defenders of Azovstal from Türkiye to Ukraine

Military commanders who defended Azovstal Iron and Steel Works and then stayed in Türkiye after being released from Russian captivity as part of an exchange are returning to Ukraine from Türkiye.

Source: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Telegram

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Quote: "We are returning home from Türkiye and bringing our heroes home.

Ukrainian soldiers Denys Prokopenko, Svyatoslav Palamar, Serhiy Volynsky, Oleh Khomenko, Denys Shleha. They will finally be with their relatives."

Details: Zelenskyy also posted a video showing him and defenders of Azovstal returning on the same plane.

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Background:

  • On 21 September 2022, as part of a PoW swap with the Russian occupiers, Ukraine succeeded in freeing 215 Ukrainian defenders, including Denys Prokopenko, aka Radis, Serhii Volynskyi, aka Volyna, Svyatoslav Palamar, Denys Shleha and Oleh Khomenko – unit leaders of the defence of Azovstal. Ukrainian businessman and pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, to whose daughter Putin is godfather, together with 55 Russian occupiers had been returned to Russia.
  • Five Azov Regiment leaders were in Türkiye under personal guarantees of protection and security from President Erdoğan.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine’s agreements with Russia stipulate that the five leaders of the Azov Regiment who were released as part of the prisoner exchange on 21 September will remain in Türkiye until the end of the war.
  • In May 2023, Kateryna Prokopenko, founder of the Association of Azovstal Defenders’ Families and the wife of fighter Denys "Redis" Prokopenko, said that the Azov commanders in Türkiye live in a closed facility but have access to information.

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