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Ukrainian defender who spent three years in Russian captivity freed in latest prison swap

On May 6, 45 Ukrainian defenders of “Azovstal” returned home amid the latest prisoner exchange, including a soldier Yevhen Chudnetsov, who had been held captive by Russian troops for a second time during his military service.

Ukraine returns 45 POWs from Russian captivity

The Ukrainian defender, known as “Chudik,” joined the Azov Regiment after the Russian military entered Donbas in 2014.

During the battle for Shyrokyne a year later, Chudnetsov was captured and tortured by the occupiers, who noticed the Ukrainian trident tattooed on his chest.

After his release in 2017, the fighter said Russian soldiers knocked out his teeth with pliers and electrocuted him with a Soviet field phone, as per 24 Channel.

 

Azovstal defender Yevhen Chudnetsov. Source: Anna Kovalska/FB

However, the terrible experience of being imprisoned in a Russian detention center did not stop “Chudik” from defending the freedom and independence of Ukraine. After his release in 2017, Chudnetsov returned to service in the Azov Regiment. The soldier signed a contract and became the head of the battalion’s medical service.

The second time, Chudnetsov was taken prisoner during the “evacuation” of Azovstal defenders in May 2022. He stayed in captivity for almost a year.

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