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Red Cross visits Ukrainian POWs in occupied Donetsk and Horlivka
During the last month, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited Ukrainian prisoners of war in occupied Donetsk and Horlivka, the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War stated on March 11.
The ICRC is now trying to reach prisoners in Luhansk Oblast.
The Coordination Headquarters representative also informed that Ukraine does not know the place of detention of the remaining prisoners representing the Azov Regiment captured in Mariupol.
After the Olenivka prison massacre on July 29, 2022, the prisoners were transferred to different camps and kept isolated from other POWs.
“We are still working on finding a third country that could act as an intermediary in the exchange of Azov fighters. We have certain hopes for Turkey as the country has real leverage over Russia. Besides, there was already a precedent of Ankara's participation in the exchange,” according to the Coordination Headquarters.
Russia released 215 prisoners of war, 205 Ukrainians and 10 foreigners, in a prisoner swap on Sept. 21. The released POWs included 108 members of the National Guard's Azov Regiment, some of whom defended Azovstal, a steel plant that was Ukrainian military's last stronghold in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, before Russia occupied the city in May.
Among the released Ukrainians were 124 officers, including high-profile commanders such as lieutenant colonel of the National Guard of Ukraine Denys Prokopenko, Azov deputy commander Sviatoslav Palamar, as well as the commander of the 36th marine brigade Serhii Volynskyi, who were the faces of the Azovstal defense.