"We will continue the fight": Denys "Redis" Prokopenko gives his first comment after returning from captivity. Video
On Saturday, 8 July, Ukrainian soldiers who led the defence of Azovstal in Mariupol last spring, Denys Prokopenko, Svyatoslav Palamar, Serhiy Volynsky, Oleh Khomenko and Denys Shleha, returned to Ukraine. Until now, Redis, Kalyna, Volyna and other leaders of Azovstal's defence have been in Turkey. Now they, together with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have visited Lviv. There, Redis gave his first comment after returning from captivity.
He said the fighters would continue to fight. The video was posted on Telegram (to watch the video, scroll to the bottom of the page).
"Once again, I want to sincerely thank Mr President and his team, the Defence Forces and every soldier who defended our country, continuing to fight the occupiers at the front while we were in captivity. This is a very big contribution to our independence, to the struggle for our state, for our sovereignty and territorial integrity," Prokopenko said.
He added that he is deeply convinced that the army is a team effort and said that from now on the soldiers will continue to fight.
"We will definitely have our say in the battle and the most important thing for today is that the Ukrainian army has seized the strategic initiative on the front line and every day we are advancing, destroying the enemy, liberating the temporarily occupied territories and I am confident that we will do everything possible and impossible to speed up this process and ensure that the war reaches its logical end. Glory to the nation!" Prokopenko said.
It should be noted that Prokopenko is a Ukrainian officer, lieutenant colonel of the National Guard of Ukraine, commander of the Azov Special Forces detachment, and a participant in the Russian-Ukrainian war. On 19 March 2022, he was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, "Redis" distinguished himself by effective actions to repel enemy attacks and defend the hero city of Mariupol. In October 2022, he was included in the list of the 25 most influential Ukrainian military from NV.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, on 8 July, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stopped by Lviv on his way back from Turkey. The leaders of the Azovstal defenders came to the city with him.
On 8 July, on the 500th day of the full-scale war that Russia unleashed against Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived on Zmiinyi Island, which has become a symbol of the indomitable nature of our people.