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Azov commander calls on Ukrainians to join ranks for country's defence

"Everyone has to make a conscious choice: take up arms or become a reliable rear."

Azov commander calls on Ukrainians to join ranks for country's defence
Photo: Azov

The commander of the Azov Special Forces Brigade, Denys Prokopenko, has called on Ukraine to defend the country against the aggressor.

"Russia will never abandon its geopolitical goals and will not let Ukraine out of its orbit. The war will continue as long as we are able to resist. Any 'truce' or 'agreement' will give the enemy another timeout enemy to accumulate resources for a further offensive. Therefore, our ability to mobilise all the necessary resources at a critical moment and work on the verge of super-capacity should not gradually turn into indifference and lack of initiative," Prokopenko said.

He noted that the best cure for despondency, panic or apathy caused by thinking about how long this war is going to last is active involvement in the historical processes that are taking place here and now.

"Those who are not yet involved in the Defence Forces of Ukraine have to make a conscious choice: to take up arms and join the ranks of the military, or to become a reliable rear guard for the army, working to support the country's defence capability. This is a long war. It can last for years. It depends on us what we do every day to bring our victory closer," the Azov commander added.

Denys Prokopenko and Azov

· Denys Prokopenko is a Ukrainian officer, lieutenant colonel of the National Guard of Ukraine, commander of the Azov Special Forces Brigade, a participant in the Russian-Ukrainian war, and a Hero of Ukraine.

· After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Azov under the command of Denys Prokopenko defended Mariupol from Russian troops. In May 2022, he received an order from the highest military command to stop defending the city.

· On 21 September 2022, the Mariupol defence commanders Denys Prokopenko, Svyatoslav Palamar, Oleh Khomenko, Serhiy Volynskyy, and Denys Shleha were released from captivity as part of a prisoner exchange and interned in Turkey.

· On 8 July 2023, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that the commanders of the Mariupol defenders were returning home from Turkey.

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