2/5/2023 – A freed POW’s amazement

Today’s picture – a newly released Ukrainian POW with the first apple in 11 months of captivity. Photo by Andriy Kachor (he said he was going to take a video, but his finger slipped – an accident that was meant to speak volumes)

From Ira Kapitonova in Kyiv (Day 346):

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Today, there was a large prisoner swap. 116 Ukrainian soldiers were exchanged for 63 Russians. Ukraine also managed to return the bodies of foreign volunteers killed by the Russians.

It is a great joy every time. Our officials would usually post video clips and pictures of the first moments of the meeting with the released soldiers. Every time, the released would look thin and exhausted, with shaved heads and painful looks in their unbroken eyes. A few weeks ago, after one of the swaps, my mom noticed that all of the soldiers were given a small bag, and in one of the videos, she saw them eating something that was in those bags. “They must have been starving this whole time,” she pointed out. I agreed with her because you couldn’t think otherwise when you saw their skinny bodies. However, this reality struck me anew today.

In one of the pictures shared today (see above), you could see a tall thin man holding an apple and looking at it in bewilderment. The newly released prisoner of war said it was the first time he saw an apple (or fresh fruit) in 11 months and was even scared to taste it at first! We’ve always known that the Russians treat our soldiers horribly, we never expected them to be well-fed, but somehow this soldier’s amazement at the apple brought it to a whole new level. I was even more shocked to discover that this prisoner in the picture is a Ukrainian restaurateur and a successful marketing director who joined the army back in 2015 and was taken captive last March as he was defending the Kyiv region. I didn’t know him in person, but I followed him on Facebook several years ago when he opened a restaurant after the Revolution of Dignity and when he started sharing his “Notes of a conscript” after joining the army. This is why I was shocked that he looked nothing like himself in the picture, and even some of his close friends couldn’t recognize him.
All released soldiers are taken to the hospital for treatment and rehabilitation.

Please, keep praying for our POWs and the softening of the Russian hearts.
The situation at the front lines is intensifying, and the Russians have started drafting female prisoners, having lost dozens of thousands of prisoners in the attacks near Bakhmut.

We know that God’s name will not be put to shame. We know that He will restore justice. Lord, help us endure until the time comes.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:9-10

One response to “2/5/2023 – A freed POW’s amazement”

  1. I am thankful for freed Ukrainian prisoners. May God restore their health and may they look to Him for comfort and peace!


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