"Whenever people tell me I am devaluing what happened in Olenivka, they don't know what I've been through there" – photographer Dmytro Kozatsky
In his Ukrinform interview, Azovstal defender and photographer Dmytro Kozatsky explained that his statement about captivity that he said in the interview with "Voice of America" was not read in full. Only an excerpt of it spread over the Internet. So the information got misrepresented.
"The other day, women in some groups (on social media. – Ed.) took a quote from my interview with Voice of America, where I say, 'Being in captivity was a bit calmer. Because you knew you would live. You just had to hold on. Unclear for how long – a month, two months, a year – but you would come out of this alive.' Many of them were outraged at me, said I was a fool, that I was devaluing what was being done to people in captivity. I respect the relatives of all the POWs, I sympathize with them, many of my close friends are currently in captivity. But for some reason no one read the next sentence (in that interview. – Ed.): 'Still, I only felt this way before the terrorist attack in Olenivka.'"
He stressed: whenever people tell him that he's devaluing what happened in Olenivka, they don't know what he has been through there.
"I wasn't in that barrack (where the terrorist attack took place. – Ed.), but I was in Olenivka on that day. One of my friends died there, another had his spleen removed," Dmytro noted.
According to him, as Azovstal defenders were evacuating, they knew that they would be taken to Olenivka. He was in Olenivka for two months. On August 2, Kozatsky was taken to the so-called "Donetsk Prosecutor's Office", where he was told that they were being charged with "participating in a terrorist organization" according to the criminal code of the so-called "DNR".
"Every Azov member was charged with this article, and to some they added other ones on top. In the evening, I was transferred to a temporary detention center in Donetsk, and on August 4 – to the Donetsk pre-trial detention center, where I remained until my release. They mainly took Azov members there," the photographer said.
As IMI reported, on September 21, Ukraine returned 215 Ukrainian defenders from Russian captivity. 108 of them are soldiers of the Azov Regiment. Dmytro Kozatsky is among the released Mariupol defenders.
In September, Dmytro Kozatsky, still in captivity at that time, won the first and third places at the International Photography Awards for his Azovstal photo series The Light Will Win.
On December 6, 2022, Dmytro Kozatsky said he was going back to the army after completing his rehab.
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