Zelenskyy: Ukraine is working on bringing the defenders of Mariupol home

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VALENTYNA ROMANENKOTUESDAY, 21 JUNE 2022, 18:14

The Ukrainian authorities are working to secure the return of the defenders of Mariupol. This process is being managed by the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence.

Source: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during a briefing with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Kyiv, quoted by Ukrinform

Quote from Zelenskyy: "I can't give many details. I really want the exchange to take place, and for the partners who have committed themselves to helping with this exchange to keep their promises. We don't simply believe in it.

We are working on this, but all the work takes place on the site of our Chief Intelligence Directorate. They are managing this process. We look forward to the results."

Details: Zelenskyy stressed the need for a speedy resolution of this issue since the wasted time is having a negative effect on the Ukrainian defenders, especially those who are wounded.

"What is actually happening to them now, what kind of help they’re being given other than words, we just don’t know," Zelenskyy said, noting that Ukrainian intelligence knows more details.

The head of state emphasised that the authorities at the political level must do everything possible to bring the soldiers back, particularly by involving partners - the Red Cross, the United Nations, and states that have a certain influence on the Russian Federation - in the process as much as possible.

Background:

  • The Ukrainian soldiers who took part in the defence of Mariupol and who were able to leave Azovstal are 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 being held in Olenivka, an urban-type settlement in Donetsk Oblast, as prisoners of war.

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

  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has stated that the defenders of Mariupol had completed their combat mission, and unit commanders had been ordered to save the lives of the military personnel. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence insisted that the only way to rescue the Ukrainian soldiers defending Azovstal was to follow the above-mentioned procedure.

  • Russians and their collaborators from the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts are threatening Ukrainian soldiers with a "tribunal".