Lt. Col. Roman Vasyliuk, a Ukrainian pilot of a ground attack Su-25 jet, was released from Russian captivity on April 24, the Air Force reported without providing many details.

He was shot down on March 14 while defending the skies over the Donetsk regional town of Volnovakha, which is now occupied, both the Air Force and Defense Intelligence stated. Volnovakha was first taken over before Mariupol on the coast of the Azov Sea was besieged.

After ejecting, he “went through numerous interrogations by Russian special services,” the Defense Intelligence said, adding that he was released after being treated at the Russian-administered Donetsk Regional Central Clinical Hospital.

Both Ukrainian military branches said that upon his release, Vasyliuk met with Kyrylo Budanov, chief of defense intelligence and Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council.


The pilot is still undergoing treatment.

“I am not going to stay in the hospital for a long time. In a month, I would like to return to service and fight for the complete liberation of our country from the occupiers,” Vasyliuk said as cited by the Defense Intelligence.

The Russo-Ukrainian war begun in 2014 when Kremlin autocrat Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to forcibly seize Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and invade the two easternmost regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

A situational war map of Ukraine as of midnight in Ukraine on April 26. (Courtesy of Ukraine War Map)

It is the biggest land war on the European continent since World War II and has displaced a quarter of Ukraine’s population while causing the deaths of thousands of people.

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