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One of youngest Azovstal defenders killed on front lines

by Kateryna Denisova May 7, 2024 5:49 PM 2 min read
Nazarii Hryntsevych, call sign "Hrinka." (Screenshot of LB Live video/YouTube)
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Twenty-one-year-old Ukrainian soldier Nazarii Hryntsevych, also known under the call sign "Hrinka," was killed on the front lines, the Contact 12 special forces group of the Azov Brigade said on May 7.

Hryntsevych was one of the youngest soldiers who defended Azovstal, a steel plant that was the Ukrainian military's last stronghold in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, before the city became entirely occupied by Russia in May 2022, Suspilne reported.

Hryntsevych was captured by Russia and reportedly held in a prison colony in the occupied part of Donetsk Oblast for over four months. He was released during a large-scale prisoner swap in September 2022, along with other 214 Ukrainian and foreign soldiers.

After his release from captivity, Hryntsevych returned to the front lines.

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War Notes

Hryntsevych founded the Contact 12 special forces group, where he served as a platoon commander of optical observers, Suspilne wrote.

More than 900 Azov soldiers remain in Russian captivity, Denys Prokopenko, the commander of the Azov Brigade, said in February.

The last reported prisoner exchange occurred on Feb. 8, with 100 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) coming back from Russian captivity.

On Jan. 3, 230 prisoners were exchanged in the largest prisoner exchange since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Ukraine is open to considering an all-for-all prisoner of war (POW) exchange and will discuss the idea at the upcoming Peace Summit in Switzerland in June, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 3.

Families of captive Azov fighters desperately wait as Russia obstructs prisoner swaps
The last time Natalia Kravtsova heard the voice of her son was on May 18, 2022, two days after he was captured by Russian troops in Mariupol. She has not heard from him since. Shortly after news broke on Jan. 24 that a Russian Il-76 military transport plane had crashed
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