The 42-year-old Djanov belonged to the 36th Ukrainian Marine Brigade, which, together with the Azov Regiment, defended the Azovstal steelworks there until the end of the Battle of Mariupol. During the fighting, Djanov suffered a serious injury to his right arm, which Ukrainian medics fixed with metal plates and screws.
Before Djanov fell into Russian captivity with other defenders in May, a portrait of him from inside Azovstal circulated around the world. Djanov smiles at him and makes a “V” gesture symbolizing victory. The photo is part of a series taken by photographer Dmytro Kozatsky in the complex during the Russian siege.
Ukraine managed to get a total of 215 people out of captivity on Thursday, and in return released 55 Russian prisoners. The exchanged Ukrainian prisoners were emaciated and looked exhausted, some with bandaged arms or limping, some being carried on stretchers by medics. The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said that a large number of the captives were “brutally tortured” by the Russians.
Djan’s sister Aljona Lavrušková described to Ukrainska Pravda that her brother faced cruel treatment in captivity. “His physical condition is obviously serious, but mentally he has remained very strong. He is extremely happy to be back. Now the main thing is to get him back on his feet,” said Lavrušková.
Djanov after his release from Russian captivity:
September 23, 2022 at 9:47 pm, post archived: September 24, 2022 at 10:03 am
The exchange of prisoners took place in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, from where Djanov was taken by paramedics to the Kyiv Military Hospital.
“The doctor told us that the brother needs an operation on his arm, but they can’t operate on him yet. He needs to gain weight first because otherwise it would be dangerous for him. He lost thirty percent of his weight and he has to gain it back,” added Lavrušková, adding that Djan’s arm is missing four centimeters of bone.
Ukrainska Pravda reports that the Russian jailers did not take the prisoners’ health into account. Since Thursday, a number of posts have appeared on social networks in which people condemn the behavior of the Russians towards the prisoners. It is Djanov’s story that resonates the most among users. “They did this to him in a few months, can you imagine years?” https://twitter.com/ElspethMcGilli8/status/1573534239869571073 one of them. “After four months in Russian captivity, all that was left of Mykhayl was a malnourished skeleton,” he said https://twitter.com/GlasnostGone/status/1573316828025487362.
“The Russians took the metal out of my brother’s arm without anesthesia, just using rusty pliers,” says Lavrušková. When she saw Djanova for the first time after her release, she was in shock. “But we were endlessly happy, we kept hugging him. We cried while he smiled. Now he has a long treatment ahead of him,” she concluded.
The mistreatment of prisoners of war is contrary to the Geneva Conventions, which state that they must be treated humanely.
Czech Minister of Defense Jana Černochová reminded on Friday that the Czechia is ready to help wounded Ukrainian soldiers with treatment.
“I wrote to our ambassador in Ukraine that we are still ready to receive more Ukrainian soldiers in our military hospitals. Now we had nine of them here and they are already back in Ukraine,” she wrote on Twitter.
@MichalKubal @MutterSona @ArmadaCR @ObranaTweetuje Of course, we already provide care for them in our military hospitals. We also have a contract for that (at the Ministry of Defense). Now we had 9 of them here and they are already back (about 2 weeks) at UA…. But UA has to send them to us faster, it’s a bit slow, but there’s nothing to be surprised about, I’m not criticizing them. We are ready.
September 23, 2022 at 7:52 pm, Post Archived: September 24, 2022 at 9:52 am