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Mother of Ukrainian POW, who returned home, shares how she was looking for her son

10 January, 2024 Wednesday
20:35

Standing for 16 hours and going outside for 3 minutes - Yurii Hrynash's mother told details about her son's captivity

On January 3, the largest exchange of prisoners since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine took place. 230 soldiers returned home. All of them are currently undergoing rehabilitation in Ukraine.

Espreso managed to talk to the mother of one of the released soldiers. 

Her son Yurii Hrynash is a 24-year-old soldier of the 24th Detached Mechanized Brigade, named after King Danylo. He volunteered for the army when Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. "He said he was sick of the Russians," says Oksana Hrynash, about her son's decision. 

In civilian life, Yurii studied at an oil and gas college and worked for an internet company. On 10 March 2022, he was already in the army. He was assigned to the training ground in Yavoriv, to the 24th Royal Brigade. At the end of the month, he was already in the combat zone. The last call between his mother and son was on 24 March 2022. At that time, the young man was in the Luhansk region. 

"And then I received a message in Russian: "Mum, I'm in captivity". I immediately gave this number to the police and the relevant services," Oksana Hrynash recalls. 

Since then, she has been working to free her son. "I raised half of Ukraine. I wrote to the coordination headquarters in Kyiv, the Security Service of Ukraine and the police," says his mother. - "In two years, I managed to get two letters from my son in Russian. He wrote that he was given food and everything was fine."

Hope for the exchange appeared a few days before the return. Mother saw the published exchange lists. She found her son's name there. 

"As soon as Yura was on Ukrainian territory, he immediately called me," Oksana rejoices. - "He was very happy to hear our voice. He told us about his captivity: he slept for eight hours and stood for 16, was let out for three minutes and could only see the sky. That's why his legs are swollen now. He also said he would eat anything we cooked." 

Yurii Hrynash is currently undergoing rehabilitation. The family is waiting for him at home and hope to see him as soon as possible. 

As a reminder, on January 3, 230 of Ukrainians returned from captivity: 213 soldiers and sergeants, 11 officers and 6 civilians. 

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