​Azovstal Defenders Return Home From Captivity (Photo)

Azovstal defenders come home / Photo credit: Ukrinform, Operativno_ZSU
Azovstal defenders come home / Photo credit: Ukrinform, Operativno_ZSU

Ukrainian soldiers who had bravely defended the last stronghold of the surrounded Mariupol, the Azovstal steelworks, have been exchanged

Ukrainian media report an exchange of prisoners of war with russian side, which resulted in some of the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Police, State Border Guard and other defense forces returning to Ukraine

The information was confirmed by a number of Ukraine’s officials, including the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Chief of Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov. According to the state-affiliated media Suspilne, the exchange took place in the Chernihiv region, northern Ukraine.

Read more: Mariupol garrison has fulfilled its combat mission – General Staff

Here are some photos of the Azovstal defenders who returned home:

These five commanders are currently in Turkiye, but already not russian captives, two Ukrainian authorities accompany them / Photo credit: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
Defender of Azovstal with call sign "Pianist" / Photo credit: Security Service of Ukraine
Kateryna Polishchuk returned home / Photo credit: Ukrinform
Dmytro Kozatskyi, the serviceman-photographer, whose photos from Azovstal have spread over the world / Photo credit: his relative Dasha Stilinski on Instagram

According to officials, 215 Ukrainian people were exchanged, Suspilne reports. Five commanders of the units defending Azovstal. President Zelenskyi said Ukraine gave to the russian side the pro-russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk and 55 military servicemen in exchange for the Mariupol defenders.

Correction: 215 defenders of Azovstal, 108 of them are servicemen of the famous Azov Regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine.

Also, ten foreigners who came to fight for Ukraine, were released as well, ZN.ua reports. These include five British citizens, two American veterans, citizens of Morocco, Sweden and Croatia. Three of them had been sentenced to death by pro-russian "authorities" in the occupied territories of Ukraine. The exchange was facilitated by Saudi Arabia.

Officials of Saudi Arabia have met several foreign servicemen who returned from russian captivity / Photo credit: Saudi Press Agency
Read more: How Ukraine’s Helicopters Flew to Occupied Mariupol Azovstal (Video Plus Additional Information Provided)