“That’s it. I’m grateful to Azovstal for its shelter – the place of my death and my life,” Dmytro ‘Orest’ Kozatsky said in his Instagram post, posted on Friday.
The fighter from the Azov regiment made his photograph of the besieged Azovstal steelworks freely available, asking that it be shared as much as possible. Some of these photographs have already gone viral revealing the plight of Azov Regiment fighters, including injured personnel.
“By the way, while I’m in captivity, I leave you my photos, apply for all the journalists’ awards and photography contests for me. If I get something, I’ll be really happy to hear about it after I’m released. Thank you all for your support. See you soon,” he wrote.
Little is known about the fate of the Mariupol defenders since their evacuation from the Azovstal steelworks to territories not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities which began on Monday.
kyiv says the plan is to release them later in an exchange with Russian captives. It was the only way to save their lives, officials insist.
Azov regiment commander Denys Prokopenko said in a published video address on Friday that he had been ordered by the higher military command to stop defending Mariupol. He said that the wounded soldiers had already been evacuated from the factory, and the bodies of Azov fighters who had lost their lives were being taken from the factory.