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Azov commanders return home: A diplomatic win for Ukraine, a slap in the face for Russia

When Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky returned from a visit to Turkey last weekend, he did not board the plane alone. Joining him were five former Azov commanders, captured by Russia in the 2022 siege of Mariupol and later handed over to Turkey in a prisoner exchange. Their return to Ukraine was a major diplomatic win for Ukraine and a slap in the face for Russia, who has since accused Turkey of violating the terms of the deal to score points with the West.

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