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Appeal raises more than £100,000 for Ukrainian prisoner to help with medical expenses

Aisha Nozari

| Last updated 

Appeal raises more than £100,000 for Ukrainian prisoner to help with medical expenses

Ukrainian prisoner of war Mykhailo Dianov shocked the internet when the horrific toll being in Russian captivity had on his body was revealed. 

Not only was Dianov skeletal in recently released images, but his right arm appeared to be broken.

Dianov’s sister, Alona Lavrushko, revealed that her sibling’s arm injury was the result of ‘rusty pliers’ being used to pull a foreign item from Dianov’s arm.


Speaking to Ukrainian news outlet Pravada, Lavrushko also said no anaesthetic was used. 

Lavrushko told the outlet: “Mentally, Mykhailo is very strong. He is extremely happy that he is back. He says, 'I am walking and breathing clean, free air.'"

She also said Dianov has to have surgery on his arm, which is said to be missing 4 cm of bone.

Lavrushko explained: "He has a problem with his arm: there may be an abscess. Next he needs to have surgery to insert a plate on the bone, because he is missing 4 cm of bone in his arm and all this needs to be corrected."


She added: "They pulled out the object lodged in his arm without anaesthesia, without anything – using rusty pliers.

“They pulled that metal out of his arm with pliers... That was the kind of help our guys were getting."

Lavrushko has been accepting PayPal donations to help pay for Dianov’s medical bills, and according to Kyiv Independent journalist Illia Ponomarenko, has so far raised more than five million Ukrainian hryvnias (£119,400).

Images of Dianov (one showing him before captivity and the other after) were first shared by the Ukrainian defence ministry on 24 September.


“Ukrainian soldier Mykhailo Dianov is among the fortunate ones: in contrast with some of his fellow POWs, he survived Russian captivity,” Ukraine’s defence ministry wrote on Twitter.

“This is how Russia ‘adheres’ to the Geneva Conventions. This is how Russia continues the shameful legacy of Nazism.” 

Ukrainian journalist Ostap Yarysh also posted Dianov’s photos on social media, writing: “Mykhailo Dianov, a musician and a Ukrainian soldier recently released in a prisoner exchange. First photo — Mykhailo during the siege of Azovstal. Second photo — Mykhailo after Russian captivity. I have no words. Terrifying.” 


Ponomarkko added: “Hey, people, do you remember this guy Mykhailo Dianov from the Azovstal? He’s free from Russian captivity now, but he needs to heal his arm.” 

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed more than 200 Ukrainians had been released from Russian captivity.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@defenceu

Topics: Russia, Ukraine

Aisha Nozari
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