Why captured Azov fighters must be under all world’s eyes?

It has been over a month since the soldiers of the Azov Regiment that were among the heroes defending Mariupol and the Azovstal fortress announced they had “fulfilled their combat mission” and were evacuated from the territory of the steel plant: they have been in Russian captivity ever since. Due to their depiction in Russian propaganda, one cannot but worry about the conditions under which Ukrainian defenders have to wait for an exchange.

A few days ago, the Russian media reported that the Azov commanders captured in Mariupol were in a pre-trial detention center in Moscow. There is no official confirmation of the location of the Azov fighters and therefore there is no certainty about the conditions of their imprisonment.

The rest of the Azov Regiment are among the ~2.5k Ukrainian soldiers that were evacuated from the Azovstal plant and taken to the Russian-controlled territory of the “Donetsk People’s Republic”. Little is known about the conditions there, as even though some soldiers manage to get in touch with their families, the connection is very short, and there is no time to talk about the details.

The wives, sisters, and daughters of the Azov fighters are doing everything possible to keep the topic of Azov’s imprisonment on the world agenda: over the last 2 months, they have been giving dozens of interviews to different channels and resources in order to make the voice of captured Mariupol defenders louder. Relatives of the Azov Regiment fighters have also set up an association to centrally address international bodies that could help monitor the conditions of detention and treatment of Ukrainian prisoners.


  • Maksym Zhorin, ex-commander of Azov regiment
  • Olena Nikulina, wife of Azov fighter
  • Tetiana Kharko, sister of Azov marine commander
  • Sandra Krotevych, sister of the Deputy Commander of the Azov Regiment.

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