The Kremlin criticized the repatriation by the Ukrainian president of several Ukrainian commanders who were to remain in Turkey until the end of the conflict.

Ukraine confirmed that it had secured the return of Azov Battalion commanders after “negotiations with the Turkish side”. They were met at the Istanbul airport by President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was visiting Turkey.

The Kremlin reacted, criticizing the repatriation of these elements that should remain in Turkey until the end of the conflict through an agreement between Moscow and Kiev.

To mark 500 days of war, Volodymyr Zelesnkyy paid a visit to Serpent Island, a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion. Moscow captured the island shortly after the invasion. The way in which Ukrainian soldiers responded to the Russian warship’s crew demanding their surrender has gone viral.

Ukrainian forces reconquered the island in June last year.

“We are returning from Turkey and taking our heroes home,” said the Ukrainian president, who had met Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Friday.

“Ukrainian soldiers Denys Prokopenko, Svyatoslav Palamar, Serhiy Volynsky, Oleh Khomenko, Denys Shleha. They will finally be with their relatives,” added Zelensky.

Many Ukrainians welcomed the news on social media. “Finally! The best news ever. Congratulations to our brothers!” Major Maksym Zhorin, who fights in eastern Ukraine, said on Telegram.


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