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Relatives of prisoners of war hold rally on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kyiv – photo

In Europe
February 18, 2024

On Sunday, a traditional Free Azov rally held by relatives and friends of the captured Ukrainian military took place on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kyiv.

Source: Suspilne, Ukraine’s public broadcaster; hromadske

Учасники акції

Учасники акції

Participants of the rally “FREE AZOV”.

Photo: Suspilne

Details: Relatives and friends of captured Ukrainian servicemen organise protests to remind people that the Ukrainian military, the defenders of Mariupol, are still in captivity.

As Hromadske reported, about 2,000 people gathered on the main square of the capital. Wives and mothers of the soldiers and their children attended the rally. Soldiers and former prisoners of war also joined the action.

The families of prisoners of war from Azov hold such events every week.

Suspilne cites one of the participants of the rally, Alisa Shumak, who says that on 20 February, it will be 21 months since her husband was captured. He is a defender of Mariupol, in particular, the Azovstal steel plant.

Учасниця акції

Учасниця акції

One of the participants of the rally “FREE AZOV” Alisa Shumak in Kyiv on 18 February 2024.

Photo: Suspilne

“On 20 May 2022, he was captured. They were promised guarantees of life and that they would be brought back in 3-4 months, but unfortunately, they are still there,” Alisa said.

Alisa said that very little is known about the conditions of the prisoners. The woman is raising their son, who is 2 years and 7 months old. When his father saw him, the boy was 4 months old.

Учасниця акції

Учасниця акції

Participant of the rally “FREE AZOV” Olena and her son Renat in Kyiv on 18 February 2024.

Photo: Suspilne

“Dad, I dream of meeting you,” reads a placard brought by Olena and her 1.5-year-old son. She said that at the time of the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the woman was 2 months pregnant, and now the father does not even know that he has a child.

Учасниця акції

Учасниця акції

Participant of the rally “FREE AZOV” Tetiana Vyshniak  in Kyiv on 18 February 2024.

Photo: Suspilne

Another participant in the action, Tetiana Vyshniak, is waiting for her only son to be released from captivity. She said she has not spoken to her son since 9 May 2022. The woman said that her son’s fellow was released last year and said that he did not see him but heard his voice. Now, she does not know where her son is and what his condition is.

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