First Days of Freedom
Thirty-five Ukrainians held captive by Russia finally enjoyed their first days of freedom. They reunited with their relatives and were able to resume life on social networks. While the released sailors restore their health in a military hospital, the political prisoners were transferred to the Feofania Hospital for checkups. So, how are the former Kremlin prisoners adapting to daily life?
The sailors captured at the Sea of Azov were brought to a military hospital, while the political prisoners were brought to the Feofania Clinic. Volodymyr Balukh, Oleh Sentsov, Mykola Karpiuk, and Pavlo Hryb managed to persuade doctors to let them stay with their relatives for the night. Doctors said that all of the patients have positive attitudes. As soon as they receive diagnoses their treatment will start.
“I really liked one patient. He wants to keep fighting. He is very grateful that he is back in Ukraine, grateful for all that aid that he was given. All patients, both the ones that have left the hospital to stay with their parents – all of them agree that in the nearest future they will undergo further checkups and treatment. The nearest future will probably be Monday,” Deputy Head Physician of Feofania Clinic Andriy Strokan said.
Volodymyr Balukh decided not to wait until Monday, and came back to the hospital in the morning. Doctors say that former political prisoners need some peace now to rehabilitate from everything they have gone through. Some might need more drastic measures.
Like Edem Bekirov – a Crimean Tatar who underwent heart surgery in January 2018. In December of the same year, he was arrested by Russians. He has diabetes and his leg was amputated. His health has only gotten worse while under Russian arrest. Now his wife Gulnara Bekirova is in the hospital with him.
“I believe that he is an optimistic person. Psychologically he is in a good state. He is happy he is back in Ukraine. Five doctors came today and we are still expecting a cardiologist. He is getting an IV now. Doctors are working on an insulin schedule. A psychologist is also expected to come,” Bekirova said.
Yet it is not only the relatives that are visiting former prisoners. Musician and MP Svyatoslav Vakarchuk came to visit sailor Volodymyr Soroka. Their photos were posted on Facebook by the father of the sailor – Viktor Soroka.
Former prisoners are also becoming active on social networks once again. Oleh Sentsov made his first Facebook post in five years. Sailor Andriy Eider posted a new profile picture and a picture of the sea.