Ukraine returned from captivity 45 people who defended the Azovstal plant in Mariupol - 42 men and three women. 35 of them are privates, and 10 people are sergeants. This was announced by the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak. According to him, among those who returned there is one military man who was already captured by Russia during the “Shirokinsky operation”, which lasted from February to July 2015. Then he spent 2.5 years in captivity, was returned and returned to the unit. Yermak also said that among those who returned there were those who married within the walls of the besieged Azovstal.
Russia returned home three military pilots during this exchange. These are lieutenant colonels Maxim Krishtop and Sergey Kosik, as well as Sergey Malov. Krishtop was captured at the very beginning of a full-scale war, in early March 2022. On March 7, a video was published with his interrogation, where the military man says that he “did not destroy” Ukrainian children, but “followed orders and worked according to the coordinates.” On March 11, he participated in an Interfax-Ukraine press conference along with two other prisoners, Oleksiy Golovensky and Oleksiy Kozlov. Krishtop repented that he participated in the war against Ukraine and turned to Vladimir Putin:
“I really want my colleagues to listen to our words, not repeat our mistakes and lay down their arms. Understand, boys, there are no fascists or villains here. We are fighting against a peaceful nation that lived beautifully and would still live without us. I want to convey to my loved ones - patience, God willing, see you again. Well, I want to tell the Supreme Commander-in-Chief that it will not be possible to hush up and hide all this for a long time. ”
Kosik was also captured in March 2022. The Su-35 he flew was shot down by Ukrainian air defense over Izyum. Then he said the same thing as Krishtop - he followed orders and worked according to the coordinates. Malov, according to the Peacemaker base, was also captured in the Izyum region, but in April 2022.