ALONA MAZURENKO — WEDNESDAY, 6 JULY 2022, 21:24
The Russian occupiers are trying to beat out false and provocative information about the leaders of Azov who were at Azovstal - commander Denys ‘Redis’ Prokopenko and his deputy Sviatoslav ‘Kalyna’ Palamar.
Source: Azov fighter who returned from captivity in the Russian Federation, on Azov’s Youtube channel
Quote: "They literally grabbed two or three people and said that they wanted information on Redis, Tavr and Kalyna."
Details: The man said that propagandists and representatives of the [Russian-aligned - ed.] separatist mass media came to the Ukrainian defenders in captivity and asked provocative questions.
In particular, they claimed that the Ukrainian defenders were attacking the Russian invaders, but the Ukrainian fighters replied that they were at home in Mariupol, and were defending their homes.
Moreover, occupiers (under the influence of alcohol) beat Ukrainian soldiers and demanded false information about the leaders of the Azov regiment who were at Azovstal.
The fighter said that the occupiers realised that Russian intelligence had failed, because they had given assurances that the Ukrainian defenders would surrender, especially in the cities closest to the Russian Federation, and Kharkiv in particular.
He also said the invaders believed that they would be able to capture Ukraine "in three days".
In Russian captivity, Ukrainian soldiers hardly communicated with each other: "You could only go to the toilet with a bodyguard."
He said that, according to gossip amongst the occupiers, Redis and Kalyna had been moved to Russia, to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre.
The Azov defender, nicknamed "Tork", is one of the Ukrainian soldiers who, on 29 June, during the exchange of prisoners, managed to return to territory controlled by Ukraine.
He is currently in a Ukrainian hospital. Tork was seriously wounded during Russian shelling in Mariupol. He did not know that he was to be part of an exchange until the last moment.
The Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol who were evacuated from Azovstal in May are being held in a penal colony in Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainska Pravda sources in the Ukrainian government said that 2,449 Ukrainian servicemen were being held captive in Olenivka.
The defenders of Mariupol entered Russian-controlled territory on 16-20 May. According to the Russian side, 2,439 fighters came out of the Azovstal bunkers. Representatives of the Red Cross registered the Ukrainian defenders as prisoners of war.
On 19 June, Russian 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, Denys Prokopenko, the commander of the Azov National Guard regiment, handed over his duties to Major Mykyta Nadtochii.
On 29 June, as part of the largest exchange of prisoners since 24 February, Ukraine returned 144 military personnel, including 95 Azovstal defenders.