Terrible Toll of Putin Captivity Exposed by Ukrainian War Hero’s Wounds

(Social media photos show Marine sergeant Mykhailo Dianov before the siege of Mariupol by the Russians and after four months of Russian captivity.)

Scary photos show the terrible toll that four months of captivity in Russia have taken on one Ukrainian Marine.

He was among the heroic defenders of Mariupol and the Azovstal plant from the Russian hordes in the early months of the war. Now, he’s been freed in a prisoner-of-war exchange.

High-Profile Major POW Exchange

A total of 205 Ukrainian fighters were exchanged for a sum of 55 Russian troops and one Ukrainian oligarch close to Putin, earlier this week.

A total of 55 Russian POWs were given up by Ukraine in exchange for the five commanders from the Azov Battalion and the 36th Marine Brigade.

It held out for months against vastly superior Russian forces in the coastal city of Mariupol, eventually fortifying themselves in a vast steel plant before surrendering at the orders of the Ukrainian command in order to be saved later.

Another 200 Ukrainian troops – including 120 more of the Azovstal defenders – were released by Russians in exchange for Viktor Medvedchuk, a wealthy pro-Russian oligarch, whose daughter was christened by Putin back in 2004.

Medvedchuk was supposed to become the leader of the puppet government of Ukraine which Putin planned to set up after conquering the country in February – a prospect that never materialized.

After the war failed to put down the Ukrainians, Medvedchuk fled his house arrest to try to leave the country, but was caught disguised in a military uniform.

As part of the POW exchange, the government of Saudi Arabia also secured the release by Russia of ten foreign volunteers fighting for Ukraine, including two American military vets, five British, one Moroccan, one Swede, and one Croatian.

Pianist-Turned-Marine Now All Bones After Russian Captivity

One of the 125 Mariupol defenders now released in the prisoner swap is Mykhailo Dianov, a senior sergeant at the 36th Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian military and a professional piano player in civilian life.

Dianov, who has an underage daughter, became world-famous in May before the defenders of Mariupol and Azovstal surrendered to the Russians. Then, a photo of his hit world media.

In it, the wounded man with a long beard, a bandaged right arm, and on clutches was photographed slightly smiling and flashing the peace sign.

The Ukrainian pianist and Marine was founded in his arm and leg during the defense of Mariupol from the Russians.

The first photos which emerged after his release in captivity show him to be all bones, with a maimed arm that didn’t heal properly, looking nothing like his old self.

Dianov is seen pale and bruised all over his body and face; the inhumane conditions in which he was kept by the Russians caused him to miss almost two inches of his fractured right arm, The Daily Mail reported.

After the release, he was sent to a hospital in Chernihiv, a city of 300,000 in northeast Ukraine, where he got reunited with his family.

Some 2,000 of the heroic defenders of Mariupol – including national guardsmen, Marines, police officers, and border guards – still remain in the hands of Putin.


This article appeared in MorningPress and has been published here with permission.