Heads of the Ukrainian special services attended a briefing on the release from captivity of 215 Ukrainian soldiers who defended Mariupol.
In general, the exchange was delayed for almost 8 hours, but in the end, it took place at once in four countries — Ukraine (on the border with the Russian Federation in the Chernihiv region), Poland (one of the stages), Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
A total of 215 people were returned. Eight of them were wounded during the terrorist attack in Olenivka, and 188 were those who were taken out of the territory of the Azovstal plant.
Currently, the commanders from Azovstal are in Turkey: "They are in a private house, it is quite a comfortable place to live. They will be there for some time — this is exactly the wording," said the head of military intelligence Kyrylo Budanov, who was there and personally checked the conditions. On the day of their release from captivity, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the commanders would remain in Turkey until the end of the war.
- On September 21, 2022, Ukraine returned 215 defenders of Mariupol from Russian captivity; they were exchanged for Putinʼs godfather Viktor Medvedchuk and 55 Russian soldiers. Denys Prokopenko, Serhiy Volynskyi, Svyatoslav Palamar, Denys Shleha, Oleh Khomenko — commanders from "Azovstal" — were released from captivity. Also, 10 captured foreigners were released from captivity. This exchange is the largest since February 24.