Prisoner exchange took place: rector of the OCU church is among those released
Deputy Prime Minister-Minister for the Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, Iryna Vereshchuk, reported this on May 6.
"28 military servicemen and 13 civilians are returning home.
I am especially glad that today the rector of the temple of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is among those released," Vereshchuk said.
As RISU has reported, the Orthodox Church Of Ukraine called on the international community and religious leaders to help release the rector of Odesa's Holy Trinity Cathedral, Vasyl Vyrozub, from Russian captivity. The rector was captured on February 27 along with other participants of the Ukrainian mission to rescue border guards on the Zmiyiny (Snake) Island.
Yet another priest Oleksandr Chokov was then captured together with Vasyl Vyrozub. He is a military chaplain of a separate marine brigade of Mykahilo Ostrohradsky.
According to him, archpriest Vasyl Vyrozub was being held in terrible conditions. The invaders accused the priest of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine of espionage. He was imprisoned in a punishment cell and tortured.
Priests Oleksandr Chokov, Leonid Bolgarov and Doctor Ivan Tarasenko were released from Russian captivity, but the OCU priest, Fr Vasyl Vyrozub, continued to be held in pre-trial detention center No. 2 of the Belgorod district, Stary Oskol, Russia.