These people were marines who have been stationed to your Serpent Isle, from Ukraine’s 35th Aquatic Brigade

Their chaplain, Olexander Chokov, was one of several priests associated Virozub

“The fresh marines said that they’d already been bombed and this the fresh new Moskva cruiser got discharged multiple salvos. What was in fact the latest boys to-do?” said Chokov. “They’d nothing to struggle with, merely servers guns and small-arms.

“New chief made the decision, got obligations in order to save brand new lifetime of your own 80 individuals who had been to the isle. They raised the light flag and you may surrendered.”

One evening, the fresh new Ukrainian inmates was indeed gone to live in Simferopol airport and loaded onto an enthusiastic Il-76 army routes. Virozub measured about 200 anybody agreeable – brand new Snake Area employees, new Sapphire’s crew, including Ukrainian soldiers who were caught about Kherson part.

Serhiy Rylsky, who was simply responsible for brand new lighthouse for the Snake Island, remembers that the airplanes arrived on Russian town of Kursk, where the prisoners have been delivered to an excellent tent camp. Virozub says the latest camp was in the brand new village of Shebekino, throughout the Russian border area for Belgorod. Shortly after weekly about go camping, the prisoners was indeed delivered to a beneficial pre-demo detention center around from Stary Oskol, inside Belgorod.

‘Excite provide father home’

It was a question of months before the first inmates had been create. Rylsky, the fresh new lighthouse manager, invested 30 days from inside the Russian captivity, coming back home into the twenty-four February. He estimates you to definitely 31 some body, mostly civilians, were traded on that time. The group incorporated the latest team of your own Sapphire – although not the latest priests and the doctor exactly who used him or her.

Olexander Mutichko, elderly assistant master into Sapphire, says these were exchanged toward generally Russian crew of the tanker Millennial Spirit, have been captured colombiancupid login from the Ukrainian pushes from inside the later February.

3 days pursuing the replace, Volodymyr Zelenskyi is asked when you look at the an interview regarding the past accounts one to the defenders out-of Serpent Island got the become killed. This time, the guy asserted that not all of them got died, hence the others had simply came back home.

“Russia appeared using this type of proposition. We traded her or him in place of doubt. That’s all. People who passed away try, seriously, heroes. And those who live – we exchanged him or her,” the latest chairman said.

For the March, following Zelenskyi’s statement, the fresh new prisoners’ relatives received calls away from Ukraine’s State Pointers Agency, and this collects information about grabbed soldiers.

Several categories of caught soldiers have been returned in the exchanges another month. Bohdan Hotskyi, chief of the border guards, came back domestic on 19 April.

The doctor and two of priests who have been towards the board this new Sapphire was in addition to exchanged in the April. But Virozub, the brand new priest, was only released in may, immediately following 68 months for the captivity.

Based on Hotskyi, the fresh new edging protect master, 19 members of their border shield people will always be inside captivity up until now.

“I’m hoping he or she is create. We inquire all competent bodies to locate employed in that it processes, as they [the new defenders] come in captivity for over half a year,” he said.

Loved ones of the caught defenders was allowed in order to Kyiv with the 5 September to meet officials during the Complimentary Head office on Treatment out of Inmates of Conflict, with overall duty having Ukrainian POWs. Adopting the appointment, family members informed Graty you to definitely 30 marines stayed inside captivity – up to 30 October, whenever included in this was released via a good prisoner replace having Russia. Now, 47 Serpent Isle personnel are when you look at the Russian captivity.

“My personal boy along with his wife recently got a baby guy. He was 6 months old whenever their dad went to the newest area,” told you Tetiana Mykolaivna, mom out-of aquatic Olexander Kardashev. “He cannot even understand your man has had his first strategies, that he’s just starting to speak, that he has received 1st white teeth.