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The Icon of Ukrainian Resistance: Azovstal Defenders Released From Captivity

Sep 23, 2022 | News, Ukraine, Featured

This handout photograph taken and released by Security Service of Ukraine on September 22, 2022 shows Ukrainian prisoners of war posing with a Ukrainian flag after their exchange in Chernihiv region.

Alisa Orlova,

Ukraine exchanged a record-high 215 imprisoned soldiers with Russia on Wednesday, September 21, including crack troops of the Azov Battalion who led the long defense of Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks, which became an icon of Ukrainian resistance.

The defenders of Azovstal have become an example of invincibility and courage for the whole world and the worst enemies for Russia and its propaganda machine. Azov Regiment soldiers and other military personnel held the Azovstal and Mariupol plant defense for three months.

Under constant shelling and severe wounds, they held back the enemy to the last despite living in terrible conditions.

The evacuation of military personnel from Azovstal began on May 16. The commanders of the units located at the plant were ordered by the Ukrainian authorities to save the lives of the personnel, so the army was evacuated to territory not controlled by Ukraine, but by Russia.

These Ukrainian soldiers were held captive for more than four months. Some of them did not manage to return as they died as a result of the terrorist attack on Olenivka, when Russia launched a missile attack on the isolation ward where the Ukrainian military, including the defenders of Azovstal, were located.

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Nadia Prokopiw
Federal Provincial Child Care
Serving Ukrainian New Comers in Toronto

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