News100 Ukrainian soldiers, many Mariupol defenders, return home in a prisoner swap with Russia

100 Ukrainian soldiers, many Mariupol defenders, return home in a prisoner swap with Russia

He spent two years in Russian captivity. He looks like a wreck of a man.
He spent two years in Russian captivity. He looks like a wreck of a man.
Images source: © "Service X" | @igorsushko
7:47 AM EST, February 10, 2024

On the evening of Thursday, February 8, Volodymyr Zelensky announced that there had been another prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia. 100 soldiers, the majority of whom defended Mariupol, are now back home.

"Another 100 Ukrainians are home, in Ukraine. They are from the National Guard, the Border Guard, the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Most of them are Mariupol defenders", he shared on social media.

The Ukrainian president also assured people that all measures are being taken to free more people imprisoned in Russian camps. "They are all our people. Everyone is welcomed back to their homeland. We are working for each captive person and we won't stop until we get all of them back", stated Volodymyr Zelensky.

The last exchange of prisoners happened on January 31. At that time, 207 citizens detained by Russia returned to Ukraine. This group comprised both military personnel and civilians captured by the occupiers in 2022.

Two years in Russian Captivity Left him Looking Devastated

Ukrainian war commentator based in the USA, Igor Sushko, shared a photo of one of the defenders of Mariupol recently released from nearly two years of captivity. It's more accurate to say, he was in a Russian concentration camp.

"This is what Russian fascists do to people. The Ukrainian Mariupol war prisoner, Volodymyr Cema-Bursow, spent nearly two years in Russian concentration camps before he was exchanged last month. He lost 84 lbs", posted on platform X (formerly Twitter), Igor Sushko.

To recap, in May 2022, after nearly three months of heroic battles in the besieged bastion at the Azovstal plants - located within Mariupol, in the Donetsk region - the city's defenders fell into the hands of Russian forces and were captured. Their fight became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in both Kiev and Moscow.

The Russians had promised severe retribution on the soldiers from Mariupol and evidently, they kept their word.

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