The issue of the release of Ukrainian defenders is too sensitive, so unnecessary comments should not be made to prevent Russia from accusing Ukraine of breaking the agreements. Currently, most of Mariupol defenders are in Donetsk region.
“Not only our country is involved in these processes, there are international institutions that help. The main thing here is not to harm. And we should not talk much about this. We will wait for the agreements to be fulfilled, and for all the boys and girls who are held captive now, who passed through Mariupol, to return alive and healthy. I emphasize once again: the main thing now is not to take unnecessary steps so that the aggressor does not accuse us of disrupting certain things. This is a very delicate matter,” Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov said during the nationwide telethon, commenting on the possibility of releasing Ukrainian prisoners, including Azovstal defenders.
Asked about the whereabouts of Ukrainian defenders, Danilov said: “There is information that they are in Donetsk region. I emphasize once again: the number of people is not 100 or 200, it is much more. And that’s why we can’t say for sure that everyone is there. We can definitely say that the vast majority, maybe all of them, are in Donetsk region.”
As reported, on June 6, President Zelensky told journalists that more than 2,500 Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal plant were held captive.
The Ukrainian troops were defending Mariupol for more than 80 days. On May 16, the evacuation of Ukrainian defenders from the Azovstal plant, blocked by Russian invaders, began and lasted for several days.
After the Ukrainian military withdrew from Azovstal, they are awaiting a swap, according to the agreements.
The Center for Strategic Communications informed that Russia plans a so-called trial of Azov fighters as the last chord of the “denazification” of Ukraine.
Currently, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine deals with the release of the Ukrainian service members.