Zelensky said that about 2,500 Azovstal defenders are in Russian captivity

Anna Kholodnova, Maria Zhartovska

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said that more than 2,500 defenders of Mariupol were being held captive by the Russians.

He said this during todayʼs meeting with journalists.

The President of Ukraine believes that it is unprofitable for the Russians to torture the Ukrainian military from Azovstal, because they are "public prisoners". Zelensky also noted that their release is being handled by Defence Intelligence.

"The only result is to bring people home. The first part was to bring people out alive. I believe that Defence Intelligence did the first part. Today there is a second part — to bring them home alive. They are our best specialists in this matter today. Maybe not the best in the world, but for us, they are the best. I personally trust them," the president said.

Also, according to Zelensky, he does not accept the statements of the Russian authorities and Donetsk Peopleʼs Republic leaders about the future of Ukrainian defenders.