President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky published a video of the first meeting of Ukrainian servicemen who returned from Russian captivity after the defense of the Azovstal plant with relatives. The video is posted on the Telegram channel.
“We won't stop until we get all of our people home. Absolutely everything is important. Because we are Ukrainians. And a person is the highest value for Ukraine.”
On September 22, it became known that Viktor Medvedchuk, the godfather of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners of war, including the commander of the Azov regiment, Denis Prokopenko. In addition to Prokopenko, his deputy Svyatoslav Palamar "Kalina", the commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Sergei Volynsky "Volyn", as well as photographer and Azov fighter Dmitry Kozatsky were released. A total of 215 Ukrainian defenders returned home.
In May, 2.5 thousand Ukrainian soldiers who defended Azovstal surrendered . On June 7, TASS reported that more than a thousand of them were sent to Russia for investigation. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky expressed the hope that it would be possible to save their lives: “I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words.