Monday, June 17, 2024

    POW families issue plea to President to swap Metropolitan Pavlo (Lebid) for Mariupol defenders

    The public association of relatives of prisoners of war, Olenivka Community, appealed to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine with a request to consider the possibility of exchanging Metropolitan Pavlo of the UOC (in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate) and odious politician Nestor Shufrych for the defenders of Mariupol, who survived Russia’s terrorist attack while being held in the Olenivka detention center.

    The corresponding appeal was published on the community page on Instagram.

    Relatives of Ukrainian POWs held by Russia believe that the time has come to exchange “Kremlin agents” for heroic Ukrainian soldiers. In addition to Pavlo and Shufrych, they also mentioned “other collaborators and traitors, including Moscow priests.”

    The authors of the appeal emphasized the terrible conditions in Russian prisons where nearly 120 wounded defenders of Mariupol are held, including 59 persons who were seriously injured. They have been in isolation, without proper medical care and contact with their families since they received an order from the Ukrainian military and political leadership to withdraw from the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol where they had been holding defense.

    In a commentary for Ukrainian Pravda, the wife of one of the prisoners, Maria Alekseevich, recalled the exchange of Viktor Medvedchuk for Azov soldiers in 2022, despite initial warnings that this was an unrealistic effort. She called to find different ways to quickly rescue the captured soldiers.

    Members of the Olenivka Community also ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage intermediary countries that have already participated in similar operations – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

    It should be recalled that nearly 900 defenders of Azovstal remain in Russian captivity, and their relatives periodically organize actions to draw attention to their fate.