Azov Brigade back fighting at front, Ukrainian National Guard says

The Azov Assault Brigade has returned to the front, the representative of Ukraine’s National Guard Mykola Urshalovich said on Thursday.

According to him, “the legendary special purpose Azov Brigade” is back in action and is carrying out combat missions.

Urshalovich added that the Azov Brigade is currently holding positions to the north-west of the city of Lysychansk. According to him, the Azov artillery destroyed a Russian mortar crew and combat engineering vehicle on 15 August.

At the beginning of July, five Azov commanders previously held captive in Russia — Denys Prokopenko, Svyatoslav Palamar, Serhiy Volynskyi, Oleh Khomenko, Denys Shlega — returned to Ukraine. In September 2022, Russia and Ukraine agreed on a prisoner exchange, one of the conditions of which was that the five commanders would remain in Turkey until the end of the war.

On 22 September 2022, Ukraine exchanged POWs with Russia, swapping Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of pro-Russian party Opposition Platform — For Life and a close ally of Vladimir Putin, as well as 55 more people, for 215 Ukrainian servicemen, including 108 Azov fighters. Dmytro Kozatskyi, a photographer and Azov fighter, was also freed from Russian captivity.

The Azov Regiment held the defence of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol for almost two months in spring 2022. In May 2022, the defenders of Azovstal left the grounds of the steelworks by order of the command and were captured by Russian soldiers.

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