The disturbing photo was published by Violetta Kirtoková, a journalist from Censor.Net. The 42-year-old soldier is in an impoverished condition on her, his arm is bruised. He was injured while defending a steel mill in the port city of Mariupol. At the end of May, the last 531 defenders surrendered to the Russian army.
Before his capture, Mykhaylo Djanov served in the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It was photographed by another of the defenders of Azovstal, photographer Dmytro Kozatskyj nicknamed ‘Orest’. The authenticity of the photo was confirmed by Mychajlo’s sister Alona Lavrušková. Ukrainská Pravda also informed the server about his state of health.
They pulled the object out with rusty tongs
“He has a problem with his arm: there might be an abscess. Next, he has to have an operation, a splint has to be put on his bone. He is missing four centimeters of bone in his arm, all of that has to be fixed,” said Alona. In Russian captivity, Mykhailo, like many other wounded people, did not receive proper medical care.
“The object stuck in his arm was pulled out without anesthesia, without anything – with the help of rusty tongs,” Alona describes how the Russian soldiers treated the prisoners. “That was the help our guys were getting,” he notes.
“His physical condition is obviously serious, but mentally… He is very strong and extremely happy to be back. He’s saying, ‘I’m walking and breathing clean, free air,'” said Alona, who said the most important thing right now is for her brother to get back on his feet.
The liberation of the Azov regiment is essential mainly psychologically, they cannot return to the fighting, says Procházková
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Long-term treatment awaits him. “The cardiogram is good, that’s a plus. But his weight… When a person loses 30 percent of his normal weight, he has to gain it back,” concludes Alona.
He is currently in the Kyiv Military Hospital, but will undergo arm surgery when his condition improves. “The doctor at the military hospital examined him. They won’t operate on him yet, it could be dangerous for him. Now he needs to recover and gain strength,” he adds.
Help and do no harm
According to Alona, it is up to him to seek psychological help. “If he needs it, of course he’ll get it. It is also important to work with families so that we know how to approach him. We want to try to help him and, above all, not hurt him.”
Alona describes the moment she saw her brother for the first time after the exchange. “I don’t even know how to describe it. We were so happy to see each other, we couldn’t stop hugging each other. Surprisingly, there were no tears, we exchanged smiles,” he recalls.
“He is extremely positive and mentally resilient, that helps us a lot. We can shed tears in front of him and he smiles,” she concludes.
At least 2,400 Ukrainian soldiers were captured by Russia in May. They belonged not only to members of the Azov Regiment, but also to the ground forces and marines.
Probably the largest exchange of prisoners to date took place in the city of Chernihiv in the north of Ukraine. The world media describes the exchange as unexpected, it happened on the same day that Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization.
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