Occupiers want to execute two Azov defenders

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ROMAN PETRENKO —  SUNDAY, 10 JULY 2022, 21:27

Russians report that two Azov fighters face execution.

Source: Russian propagandists; Ukrainska Pravda source in intelligence

Details: According to reports from the militants, Mykola (call sign "Frost" – surname unknown) and Kostiantyn Nikitenko ("Fox") were taken to be executed.

According to a source of the Ukrainska Pravda in intelligence, the two Azov soldiers were taken out of the penal colony in which they were imprisoned in an unknown direction. Russian propagandists report different versions – some write that the fighters were sentenced on 9 July; others report that the trial will take place in the future.

There are also different versions of the reasoning for their executions – it was first written that the Azov soldiers allegedly fired on civilians in Mariupol; later it was reported that they attacked a convoy with wounded occupiers. No evidence or details have been reported.

For reference: Right before this, the militants canceled the moratorium on the death penalty on 8 July.

Background:

  • Ukrainian soldiers who took part in the defence of Mariupol and who were able to leave Azovstal were being held captive in a penal colony in the occupied territory of Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainska Pravda sources in the Ukrainian government have confirmed that all 2,449 people who left Azovstal are now held in Olenivka, an urban-type settlement in Donetsk Oblast, as prisoners of war.

  • Mariupol defenders were able to leave Azovstal for Russian-controlled territory of Ukraine between 16 and 20 May. According to Russia, 2,439 soldiers left Azovstal bunkers. The International Committee of the Red Cross representatives registered the Ukrainian soldiers leaving Azovstal as prisoners of war.

  • On 19 June, the Russian mass media reported that the commanders of the Azov Regiment were taken from the occupied territory of Donetsk region to Russia for "investigative actions." Prior to that, the commander of the Azov National Guard regiment, Denys Prokopenko, handed over his duties to Major Mykyta Nadtochii.

  • n 29 June, as part of the largest exchange of prisoners since 24 February, Ukraine returned 144 soldiers, including 95 defenders of Azovstal.