Zelensky: '5 Azov leaders in Turkey until end of war'

'Thanks to Erdogan for helping release of 215 Ukrainian heroes'

22 September, 13:15

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked his Turkish counterpart Recept Tayyip Erdogan in a message on Telegram Thursday for contributing to the release of 215 Azov leaders. "Ukraine has liberated 215 heroes from Russian detention. We very much appreciate the contribution of all those involved in the rescue of the defenders and we will never forget it. Many thanks to the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for leading this process. We have agreed that five released Azov commanders will be in comfortable conditions in Turkey until the end of the war and they will be able to see their families", the Ukrainian president said on Telegram.

    A total of 215 Ukrainian fighters were released. They defended the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the last Ukrainian stronghold in the area. After being detained by the Russians, they were liberated as part of a massive effort for a prisoners' exchange. "Five heroes, commanders of Azovstal's defense, were exchanged with 55 prisoners of war, who don't interest us", said the head of Zelensky's presidential office, Andriy Yermak.

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