July 13, 2024
Ukrainians held prisoner for years in Russia return to Kyiv

Ukrainians held prisoner for years in Russia return to Kyiv

Ukrainians held prisoner for years in Russia return to Kyiv


Ten Ukrainians held prisoner for years have been launched from Russian captivity with the Vatican’s mediation

Ukrainians held prisoner for years in Russia return to KyivBy HANNA ARHIROVAAssociated PressThe Associated PressKYIV, Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ten Ukrainians who had been held prisoner for years have been launched from Russian captivity Friday with the mediation of the Vatican, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated.

Part of the group arrived in a single day by helicopter at Kyiv International Airport, which has been closed since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. It was the primary time in over two years the airport acquired passengers. The remainder of the group arrived by bus.

Some of the launched civilians had been captured earlier than Russia’s invasion. It’s a uncommon event when individuals detained after 2014, when Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, have been launched.

Among the freed was Nariman Dzhelyal, deputy head of the Mejlis, a consultant physique of Crimean Tatars that was relocated to Kyiv after Russia seized the peninsula. He was taken from Crimea, the place he lived regardless of the annexation, one yr earlier than the struggle.

“I was in captivity, where many Ukrainians remain,” he stated. “We cannot leave them there, because the conditions, both psychological and physical, are very frightening there.”

In the primary corridor of the airport, the place pre-war commercials nonetheless grasp, former prisoners wrapped in blue and yellow flags reunited with their households and referred to as those that couldn’t be there. For some, the separation had lasted many years.

“I really want to hug you. I’ll be with you soon, Mommy,” stated Isabella Pekh, the daughter of freed artwork historian Olena Pekh, by a video name. “I’m so sorry I couldn’t meet you.”

For virtually six years, Isabella Pekh spoke at worldwide conferences and appealed to international ambassadors for assist in liberating her mom, who was detained in the occupied a part of the Donetsk area. Eventually, her efforts succeeded.

“It was six years of hell that words cannot describe. But I knew I had my homeland, I had people who loved me, I had my daughter,” stated Olena Pekh.

Two clergymen have been additionally amongst those that returned Friday. One of them, Bohdan Heleta, was detained in 2022 inside his church in the occupied metropolis of Berdiansk in the Zaporizhzhia area.

According to Ukraine’s Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 3,310 Ukrainians have already been launched from Russian captivity. But many hundreds, each civilians and army personnel, stay imprisoned.



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