Body and Story of the Hero of “Azovstal”
In order to save soldiers' lives, on May 17, president Zelenskyy decreed the "Azov" regiment (265 militants) to surrender to the invaders. On September 21, Ukraine, with the help of Saudi Arabia, was able to pull the "Azov" people out of Russian captivity, as well as all foreign prisoners of war: Moroccans, Americans, Croats, and Swedes.
This is the press officer of the "Azov" regiment — Dmytro "Orest" Kazatskyy. Most of the honest and heartbreaking photos of "Azovstal" scattered around the world are his work. Together with paramedics and militants, on May 17, Dmytro was taken prisoner by Russia. The exhausted body of Dmytro is evidence of the attitude of Russians towards prisoners of war.
On Dmytro-Orest's arms, you see a tattoo: the first is the word "love" written in red, and the second is the word "sorrow" written in black. This is a reference to one of the most famous Ukrainian poems about the national colours of Ukraine: red symbolizes love, and black symbolizes sorrow.
"His photographs have become a symbol of the invincibility of the Ukrainian nation, and if you ask us today who took the main photo of this war, our answer will be — he, Orest. But he doesn't seem to realize it. Moreover, it was Orest who, unknowingly, became the man who prevented me from giving up documenting the war. It's a pretty personal story, but we think we have to tell it. We learned about Dmytro, like most, through "Instagram", but about a week before, he posted these iconic portraits of his fellows. Information portals then daily broke our hearts with news from Mariupol and "Azovstal", and when we accidentally stumbled upon a page from which a bright sunny guy was looking at us, the first impulse, despite the fact that we did not even know each other, was to write to him. And we wrote. What is he a hero? That more than anything, we want him to come back alive. We did not expect an answer, but Orest replied that he was grateful to us for what we were doing. Grateful for our photo."
"We talked a lot yesterday, and about Mariupol, and about captivity, and about ordinary life. You will hear these stories in future interviews. And today, you can just look in Orest's eyes. They have seen a lot."