Five commanders from "Azovstal" released from Russian captivity, who are now in Turkey, met there with their relatives.
This was reported by the Office of the President and First Lady Olena Zelenska.
"During my visit to Turkey, I was able to meet with our guys from Azov. They are here under the terms of exchange, and today the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak managed to organize a meeting for them with their families. There are many emotions. The road to this moment was long and difficult. Finally, they were able to hug. I gave them greetings and thanks from Ukraine, from the president, and all the people for whom they are fighting [...]. The day before, she met with His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul. And today I conveyed his blessing to our defenders and their families," Zelenska wrote.
The Presidentʼs Office published photos in which the commander of "Azov" Denys Prokopenko, his deputy Svyatoslav Palamar, commander of the 36th separate brigade of marines Serhii Volynskyi, the senior officer of "Azov" Oleh Khomenko and commander of the 12th brigade of the National Guard Denys Shleha receive the title of Hero of Ukraine.
- On the night of September 22, Ukraine exchanged prisoners with Russia. Ukraine returned 215 defenders of Mariupol, including the commanders of the "Azov" regiment, and Putinʼs godfather Viktor Medvedchuk and 55 Russian soldiers were returned to Russia.
- On the afternoon of September 21, it became known that the Russian authorities handed over to Saudi Arabia 10 captured foreigners who fought for Ukraine and were sentenced to death by the occupiers.
- Heads of the Ukrainian special services later said that the exchange was delayed for almost 8 hours, but in the end, it took place simultaneously in four countries — Ukraine (on the border with the Russian Federation in the Chernihiv region), Poland (one of the stages), Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
- The spokesman of the President of Turkey said that initially, there were 15 names on the list for the exchange of Ukrainian commanders from "Azovstal", but it was not possible to agree on it.