Tortured with electroshock-suffered pain for 800 days… The painful story of the hostages of the Russia-Ukraine war


Ukraine and Russia released each other's hostages on Friday. Both Russia and Ukraine released 75 hostages. This was the 52nd exchange since Russia's attack on Ukraine in February 2022. Ukraine has got back a total of 3,210 members of the Ukrainian military and civilians since the war began.

The war between Russia and Ukraine started in February 2022, after which due to continuous conflict, both countries kept each other's citizens hostage for a long time. Thousands of people were killed during this war and many were injured. Ukraine and Russia released each other's hostages of war on Friday. This exchange of hostages took place after three months. Both Russia and Ukraine released 75 hostages. Also, a few hours before the release of the hostages, both countries handed over the bodies of their martyred soldiers at the same place.

These hostages spent several days in closed rooms, after which seeing the light of the day again was not a normal thing for them. All these hostages were put on a bus along with four civilians and sent to the northern Sumy region. As soon as the hostages got off the bus, they shouted with joy and called their families to tell them that they had returned home. Some people sat on their knees and kissed the soil of their country, while many hostages became emotional along with happiness on this occasion. They wrapped themselves in the country's flag and started crying while hugging each other.

52nd Exchange of Mortgages

Overall, 150 hostages have been exchanged so far this year. This was the fourth exchange this year and the 52nd since Russia's attack on Ukraine in February 2022. After the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began, Ukraine appealed to Russia to release all the hostages. Also, rallies are held every week in Ukraine to release all the hostages.

800 days of pain

Vitaly Matviyenko, a Ukrainian official negotiating the exchange at the headquarters, said Ukraine was always ready to release hostages and take back its citizens. The hostages who returned to Ukraine on Friday included Roman Onischuk, an IT worker who joined the Ukrainian army as a volunteer at the beginning of Russia's attack and was captured in the Kharkiv region in March 2022.

Roman Onischuk, who has been held captive since 2022, came out and told his painful story, saying, "I just want to hear my wife's voice, my son's voice. I missed three birthdays of my son and wife." He said, in the more than 800 days he spent in captivity, he never spoke to his family and he does not know which city he is in now.

How many mortgages in total

According to Ukraine's hostage negotiation headquarters, including Friday's exchange, Ukraine has returned a total of 3,210 members of the Ukrainian military and civilians since the war began. However, neither Ukraine nor Russia discloses how many hostages the two countries hold of each other.

Tortured with electroshock

Among those freed was Dmytro Kantipenko, who was captured on Snake Island in the Black Sea. Narrating his painful story, he said that the first thing he did after coming out was to talk to his mother on the phone to hear her voice and tell her that he had returned to Ukraine. He wiped his tears and told his mother that I would be home soon. The Russians woke him up in the middle of the night without giving any reason and gave him a little time to change his clothes before they left. Kantipenko said that he was tortured with electroshock sometime before the exchange.

Abuse of hostages

According to UN reports, most Ukrainian hostages face unimaginable suffering. They are treated very poorly while in custody. They are mistreated and face many forms of torture. However, there have been isolated reports of mistreatment not only of Ukrainian hostages but also of Russian soldiers.

5 women also returned

According to Ukraine's Coordination Headquarters, at least one-third of the Ukrainian hostages who returned home were injured and many had serious illnesses. Those who returned on Friday included 19 Ukrainian fighters from Snake Island, 14 people captured at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and 10 fighters from the city of Mariupol captured by Russia. The Ukrainians who returned also included five women.

The bodies were also returned

Earlier in the day and at the same location, Ukraine and Russia also swapped the bodies of their fallen soldiers – Ukraine returned 212 bodies and Russia 45. According to Ukraine's missing persons office, Ukraine has recovered nearly 3,000 bodies, mostly military, since the war began. About 1,300 of them have been identified.