During two exchanges bodies of 220 defenders of Mariupol from “Azovstal” were returned to Ukraine

Anhelina Sheremet

During the two exchanges, the bodies of 220 Azovstal defenders were given to Ukraine. Third of them were members of Azov, the former commander of the Azov Regiment Maxym Zhorin announced on June 12.

The process of recognizing bodies continues. It can take months. According to Zhorin, the same number of bodies still needs to be returned from Azovstal, and negotiations are underway.

After Russiaʼs full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the plantʼs management opened the plantʼs checkpoints to allow civilians free access to the bomb shelters. The Russian occupiers began storming the plant on April 19 and broke through there on May 4. Later, civilians were allowed to leave the plant. The Ukrainian defenders (more than 2,000 of them) left the plant on May 17. Currently, they are being held captive by the Russians and awaiting exchange.

The plantʼs territory was defended by "Azov," border guards, National Guards, Security Service of Ukraine employees, and Marines.