Horrifying images of a Ukrainian soldier who spent months in Russian captivity show he is now so emaciated, and doctors can't yet offer him the care he needs.
The images of Mykhailo Dianov were released by Ukraine's Ministry of Defence on social media.
It said he was one of the "lucky ones" as he, unlike other prisoners of war, survived Russian captivity.
"This is how Russia 'adheres' to the Geneva Conventions. This is how Russia continues the shameful legacy of Nazism," the ministry said on Twitter.
Dianov is gaunt following his release from captivity. He is emaciated, his upper arm is bent and it appears he has scars on his arm and face.
The Kyiv Independent also shared the shocking photo of Dianov following the exchange, and another before photo of him taken inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
The marine was inside the plant when it came under siege in May this year.
More than 2000 defenders, many in the Azov Regiment, marched out of the Azovstal steel plant's twisted wreckage into Russian captivity in mid-May, ending a nearly three-month siege of the port city of Mariupol.
"Dianov was among the 215 prisoners of war exchanged in a prisoner swap on September 21," the publication said on Twitter.
"Injured during the defence of Mariupol, Dianov wasn't receiving medical care while in Russian captivity, his sister Olena Lavrushko told media on September 23."
Ms Lavrushko says her brother has been taken to the military hospital, but given his frail condition, he needs to gain weight before doctors can operate on him.
"That’s the main thing, because he can’t be operated on in his condition. It could be dangerous for his health," she said according to Ukrainian publication Pravda.
"So he has to recover now and gain strength."
Money is now being raised to help Ms Lavrushko pay for her brother's medical fees.
Hey, people, do you remember this guy Mykhailo Dianov from the Azovstal?
He’s free from Russian captivity now, but he needs to heal his arm.
Let’s donate to help the soldier — his sister Olena has a PayPal account for international donations: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m donating! pic.twitter.com/gArHBPw2R1
— Illia Ponomarenko🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) September 23, 2022
Putin ally swapped in prisoner trade
In exchange for the 215 Ukrainian fighters who who defended a steel plant in Mariupol during a long Russian siege, one of Vladimir Putin's allies was exchanged earlier in September.
The more than 200 Ukrainians were exchanged for just one man — pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, who is Ukrainian.
It is believed Russia's president is the godfather to Medvedchuk's youngest daughter.
Just days before Russia's invasion on February 24, Medvedchuk escaped house arrest. He was recaptured in April.
He faced up to life in prison on charges of treason and aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation for mediating coal purchases for the separatist, Russia-backed Donetsk republic in eastern Ukraine.
His detention sparked a heated exchange between officials in Moscow and Kyiv.
With Associated Press
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