ALONA MAZURENKO — THURSDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2022, 01:15
As part of prisoner swap with the Russian occupiers, Ukraine has succeeded in freeing 215 Ukrainian defenders, including 10 foreigners. The Ukrainian businessman and pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is the godfather of Putin’s daughter, together with 55 Russian occupiers have been returned to Russia.
Source: President Zelenskyi of Ukraine and Andrii Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, on air during the national 24/7 newscast
Quote from Yermak: "We have freed 215 of our people from Russian captivity, including 124 officers. Among those who have been freed, 108 were Azov [Regiment] fighters."
Details: Border guards, policemen, marines, national guardsmen, members of the territorial defence, customs officers, and civilians are also among those released. In particular, Denys Prokopenko, aka Radis, Serhii Volynskyi, aka Volyna, Svyatoslav Palamar, Denys Shleha and Oleh Khomenko – unit leaders of the defence of Azovstal [steel plant in Mariupol – ed.] - are already safe.
Yermak said that this was the result of personal agreements between the President of Ukraine and President Erdoğan of Turkey.
As a result of the agreements, five Ukrainian commanders are now in Turkey under Erdoğan‘s personal guarantees of protection and safety.
As part of the exchange, 10 foreigners who defended Ukraine have also been freed. Those "sentenced" to death by Russian occupiers are among them.
Quote from Yermak: "We have exchanged 200 of our heroes for Medvedchuk, who has already given all the evidence he had to the investigation [into charges of treason against Medvedchuk - ed.]. And 5 commander-heroes from Azovstal [have been swapped for- ed.] 55 Russian prisoners who are of no interest to us."
The president noted that Ukraine was prepared to recover even a single defender in exchange for Medvedchuk, but has managed to recover 200.
Vasyl Malyuk, acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine, said that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation, a total of 802 prisoners of war have been returned to Ukraine from captivity.
Background: On 21 September, Ukraine has arranged the release of soldiers who defended the city of Mariupol, including soldiers from the Azov Regiment, from Russian captivity.
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; c of the Azov Regiment.