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24th Sep 2022

Ukraine prisoner of war shows shocking toll Russian captivity had on his body

Charlie Herbert

Ukraine prisoner of war shows shocking toll Russian captivity had on his body

The defence ministry accused Russia of ‘continuing the legacy of Nazism’

The Ukraine defence ministry has shared shocking pictures which reveal the toll Russian captivity has had on a soldier’s body.

The ministry shared two pictures on Twitter on Friday, which show Mykhailo Dianov before and after his time as a prisoner of war.

In the first photo, Dianov looks fit and healthy in military gear. However, the difference in his appearance in the second picture could not be more stark.

Dianov is shockingly skeletal, gaunt and his right arm appears to have contorted.

The defence ministry wrote: “Ukrainian soldier Mykhailo Dianov is among the fortunate ones: in contrast with some of his fellow POWs, he survived russian captivity.

“This is how Russia ‘adheres’ to the Geneva Conventions. This is how Russia continues the shameful legacy of Nazism.”

CNN reports that it has been unable to verify the authenticity of the images, but they have been widely shared online, including by US-based Ukrainian journalist Ostap Yarysh.

He shared the same ‘after’ picture on Twitter along with a different ‘before’ picture, with the caption: “Mykhailo Dianov, a musician and a Ukrainian soldier recently released in a prisoner exchange.

“First photo — Mykhailo during the siege of Azovstal. Second photo — Mykhailo after Russian captivity. I have no words. Terrifying.”

And a woman, Alyona Lavrushko, has confirmed that she is the sister of Dianov, and that the pictures are real.

She told Ukrainska Pravda: “His physical condition is serious, of course. But mentally… Mykhailo is very strong. He is extremely happy that he is back. He says, ‘I am walking and breathing clean, free air’.”

She said Dianov has to have surgery on his arm, which is missing 4 cm of bone.

Lavrushko continued: “He has a problem with his arm: there may be an abscess. Next he needs to have surgery to insert a plate on the bone, because he is missing 4 cm of bone in his arm and all this needs to be corrected.”

She added: “They pulled out the object lodged in his arm without anesthesia, without anything – using rusty pliers.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that more than 200 Ukrainians had been released from Russian captivity and were now ‘safe’.

He tweeted: “We returned 215 people from Russian captivity: 188 defenders of Azovstal and Mariupol. 108 Azov warriors, national guards, marines, border guards, policemen, territorial defense, Security Service employees. They’re safe now. We remember and try to save everyone.

“According to our agreements with @RTErdogan, the five released Azov commanders will be in comfortable conditions in Turkey until the end of the war. They will be able to see their families. I sincerely thank President Erdoğan for his leading role in liberating our people.”

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