Kyiv Security Forum

About 2,000 soldiers from "Azovstal" are still in captivity - Kateryna Prokopenko, the wife of the "Azov" regiment commander

23 January, 19:07

Today, about 2,000 “Azovstal” soldiers are still in captivity, including about 700 “the Azovs”. This information came from Kateryna, the wife of Denys Prokopenko, the Hero of Ukraine, the “Azov” regiment commander, during the Honorary Lecture at the Kyiv Security Forum on the occasion of the National Unity Day of Ukraine. 

“The captives include many those wounded back in the days of Azovstal, or those maimed by torture. There are also many women among those prisoners. I ask each and every one to engage in maximum efforts and assist liberating our heroes from captivity, as well as supporting the families of the killed, and those who were freed from captivity, and those who need rehabilitation,” the Hero's wife appealed to all Ukrainians. 

Kateryna Prokopenko also reminded the audience that before being captured as prisoners of war, our defenders heroically participated in epic holding of Mariupol for 86 days in most unequal conditions.

“russian crimes in Mariupol can be discussed at length. Just imagine that all the crimes of the world were pinpointed just there, in Mariupol: looting, violence, using civilians as shields, firing on civilians and shelling critical infrastructure items, murdering prisoners of war on the spot,” she said. 

The commander’s wife also reminded the audience that the perpetrators of the terrorist act in Olenivka, with about 50 soldiers killed and about 100 PoWs wounded, have remained unpunished as yet: “Will the perpetrators be punished? The UN mission that had to investigate the tragedy had been dissolved, and the Red Cross still cannot get to the detainment camps of Ukrainian prisoners of war.”

Kateryna Prokopenko stated that the wives of Heroes founded the Association of Azovstal Defenders Families to fight for the rights of their husbands. “And I realized, she said, – that the value of the women’s liberation movement cannot be underestimated. For the sake of the lives of their loved ones, to the purpose bringing the guilty to punishment, women who wait for their men to return can go all the way to Mars, and they will do their utmost and beyond to bring back their loved ones, to punish the guilty, and to attain justice.”

She called on the entire civilized world not to stand aside and just watch how russia grossly violates the Geneva Convention and degrades PoWs even during live streams.

“Mariupol and Azovstal proved to the whole world what those believing in their Home Country, in its freedom – they will never betray, they will make war to the knife to defend every inch of Ukrainian land. The living must fight for the fallen, the healthy – for the wounded, and the free – for the prisoners!” - Kateryna Prokopenko confidently stressed.

The Kyiv Security Forum, founded by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s “Open Ukraine” Foundation, is the major platform in this country to discuss issues of war and peace, national and global security.