All Azovstal defense commanders returned to Ukraine after being released from Russian captivity in September 2022. Until today, all of them were in Turkey.
So, the commander of “Azov” Denis Prokopenko “Redis”, his deputy Svyatoslav Palamar “Kalina” returned to Ukrainian territory , acting. the commander of the 36th separate brigade of the Marine Corps Sergey Volynsky “Volyn”, the senior officer of “Azov” Oleg Khomenko and the commander of the 12th brigade of the National Guard Denis Shlega .
“Today, on the 500th day of the war, we returned home to Ukraine five of our heroes, Heroes of Ukraine, commanders of the defense of Mariupol and Azovstal. They fought for Ukraine, fought heroically, absolutely. They went through Russian captivity, then more than 300 days they were in Turkey, it’s time for them to be at home,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in Lvov.
The Ukrainian president also thanked Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his help in releasing our commanders.
At the same time, Denis Prokopenko, during a conversation with reporters, hinted that he plans to return to the war.
“I am deeply convinced that the army is a team work. And from today we will continue the fight together. We will definitely have our say in battle,” Radish said.
Captivity after the defense of Azovstal
Russian troops surrounded Mariupol already on March 2, 2022 and gradually narrowed the ring. Therefore, already in mid-April, the defense forces had to move to the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant. There, the Ukrainian defenders defended until mid-May, being under constant bombardment and artillery strikes.
Even during the battles for Azovstal, commanders turned to international partners with a request to assist in carrying out the “extraction” procedure to save the lives of military and civilians, who were also in the bunkers of the plant.
In mid-May, commanders received an order to leave Azovstal in order to save the lives of Ukrainian defenders. The military and civilians went out in batches for 5 days.
On September 22, 2022, it became known that Ukraine returned 215 soldiers from Russian captivity , of which 108 were Azov fighters. At the same time, with the mediation of Turkey, Prokopenko, Volynsky, Palamar, Khomenko and Schlega were released from captivity.
Their release from captivity meant that they would be in Turkey until the end of the war in Ukraine to avoid their return to the war zone.
Source : RBC