ALONA MAZURENKO - THURSDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2022, 13:05
Representatives of the Russian GRU [The Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formerly the Main Intelligence Directorate] tried to recruit fighters of the Azov regiment, who came out of Azovstal steelworks in May, explaining it by "war against the USA and the West."
Source: Major Bohdan "Tavr" Krotevych, Chief of Staff of the Azov regiment; briefing of the regiment's commanders
Quote: "As for the Azov regiment defenders in particular, the Intelligence Department [GRU - ed.] came up with the following idea: when we came out of captivity, they wanted to recruit the Azov regiment defenders as a unit because 'you guys are fighting well', (I am now quoting the GRU, not ourselves), 'so let's destroy the West and the U.S. together'."
The Azov regiment defenders were unanimous in one opinion: they [Russians - ed.] are our enemies. We are Ukrainian military. Ukraine is our homeland."
Details: Krotevych also urged journalists to refrain from asking questions about the captivity. According to him, the disclosure of information about the Russian captivity can harm those who are still staying there.
"Tavr" noted that Russia is not a country that would pay attention to any public outcry.
Therefore, publicity in the media can have the opposite effect for Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) and worsen their conditions of stay, or affect the negotiation process for POW release.
The defenders, who were released from Russian captivity in late September, also reported that they were currently working together with law enforcement facilities. They are interviewed about violations of the norms of international law allowed by Russia.
At the briefing, it was also noted that the command staff of the Azov regiment spent several days with their subordinates in the occupied territory of Ukraine. Then, the officers were transported to the Russian Federation, where they stayed until their return from captivity.
According to Krotevych, despite the guarantee by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Russians captured several civilians who had tried to leave Azovstal.
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