Ukraine: Release from Russian Captivity

Freed women relate stories of violence, starvation and emotional abuse.

Ukraine: Release from Russian Captivity

Freed women relate stories of violence, starvation and emotional abuse.

Video by Lesya Kharchenko and Zhenya Pedin
Monday, 28 November, 2022

Russian proxies captured Lyudmila Huseynova in 2019. A civilian, she was bringing humanitarian aid to orphaned children in Novoazovsk, a border town on the south-eastern tip of Ukraine, in the occupied territory of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. She spent three years in captivity.

Huseynova was released on October 17 with another 107 civilians and servicewomen in a prisoner of war swap.  Ukraine and Russia exchanged 218 people in one of the largest deal on POWs since the full-scale invasion began. 

Dozens of the women had been captured after surrendering at the siege of the Azovstal steel factor in the southern city port of Mariupol, which ended in May. The former prisoners, who did not know about the release until the last minute, told stories of starvation and abuse.

This publication was prepared under the “Ukraine Voices Project" implemented with the financial support of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

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