Ukraine returns home Mariupol policewoman kept in captivity for more than 2 years

Mariana Checheliuk
Mariana Checheliuk

Mariana Checheliuk, an investigator from Mariupol who sought refuge from Russian shelling in the underground facilities of Azovstal in 2022, has been released from captivity, according to the Grunt (Soil) Telegram channel on May 31.

In 2022, Checheliuk and her younger sister found themselves at Azovstal. Initially, representatives from the UN and the Red Cross promised to transport the sisters to Zaporizhzhia, but instead, they were sent to the village of Bezymenne for Russian 'filtration'. While her younger sister was rescued, Mariana was taken into Russian captivity where she remained for over two years.

<span class="copyright">Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War</span>
Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War

During her captivity, Checheliuk endured severe mistreatment. "The girl wrote letters to her mother, describing the tortures inflicted by the Russians. She was starved, beaten, and abused," reported Grunt.

Initially held in Taganrog, Checheliuk was later transferred to occupied Mariupol in August 2023.

<span class="copyright">Facebook V. Checheliuk</span>
Facebook V. Checheliuk

The conditions of her detention worsened her health significantly. "I received a letter from Mariana in which she wrote that she was very ill," her mother shared. "At first, she had a sore throat, which later developed into bronchitis. Despite treatment in the pre-trial detention center, including antibiotic injections, her health did not improve. She lost a significant amount of weight, her immune system weakened, her hair began to fall out, and she suffered from amenorrhea."

Checheliuk's release comes as part of a recent prisoner exchange, marking a significant moment in the ongoing conflict.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine