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Pics: Ukraine says it captured first Russian POWs

Russian-Belarusian military drills (Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/WikiCommons)
February 24, 2022

Ukraine has taken its first two Russian prisoners-of-war, according to a spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Oleg Nikolenko, a Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, tweeted photos of the two Russian soldiers, as well as the weapons reportedly taken from them, including two rifles, two knives, and several magazines.

“Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny: ‘Ukrainian military have taken prisoners: two Russian soldiers of unit 91701 of Yampol motorised infantry regiment. @GeneralStaffUA.’ #RussiaInvadedUkraine #StopRussianAggression,” Nikolenko tweeted.

In a follow-up tweet, the spokesman wrote that Russia is “suffering losses.”

“Enemy is suffering losses. Four Russian tanks have been burned on Kharkiv ring road. Russian troops are storming the border in Zhytomyr region,” Nikolenko wrote. “Enemy military equipment has crossed at Vilcha checkpoint. [Ukraine] military and border guards accepted battle. #RussiaInvadedUkraine.”

The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), a group of investigators based eastern Europe, also posted on the photos on Twitter.

“Press officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy Shtefan has published photographs of what appear to be captured Russian soldiers,” CIT tweeted, according to Google Translation. “One of the prisoners demonstrates a chevron 423 MSP 4 TD, whose tanks were noticed in the Belgorod region in the last days before the offensive, and today – on the outskirts of Kharkov.”

The Russian soldiers in the photos do not appear to be injured.

Oksana Serhiyivna Markarova, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, announced during a press conference Thursday morning that Russia’s 74th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade had surrendered to Ukraine. Markarova said the Russian troops expressed they didn’t know they were brought to Ukraine with the intention of killing Ukrainians.

Also on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued a press release addressing the “acts of military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.”

“At the request of the Head of State, Ukraine’s MFA has initiated the procedure to sever diplomatic relations in accordance with the norms established by international law. Our country took this step in response to acts of military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the invasion of Russian Armed Forces to destroy the Ukrainian state and the seizure by force of Ukrainian territories with the intent of establishing occupation control,” the statement read.

“We emphasize that the Russian offensive operation is an attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, a gross violation of the UN Charter, and the established norms and principles of international law,” it continued.

The statement went on to say that Ukraine “will continue to defend the rights and interests of Ukrainians in Russia, including Ukrainian political prisoners.”

“The MFA also has recalled to Kyiv the Charge d’affaires of Ukraine in Russia, Vasyl Pokotylo, for consultations. The MFA has also commenced the evacuation of Ukraine’s Embassy in Moscow. Ukrainian Consulates on the territory of the Russian Federation are operating in their routine capacities for the time being,” the statement added.