The wives of two Ukrainian prisoners of war, both captured during the Russian siege at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, tell Newsmax's Greta Van Susteren they are concerned that the Red Cross has not been able to observe the conditions under which Russia is holding those who are captured.
Yulia Fedosiuk, whose husband is still being held, and Kateryna Prokopenko, whose husband was released in the high-profile prisoner swap last week, said in the interview, aired Monday night on Newsmax's "The Record With Greta Van Susteren," they are concerned about the fate of the Ukrainian prisoners of war because of the reports of their mistreatment at the hands of the Russians.
Fedosiuk said she does not know exactly where her husband is because "we have no contact with them."
"The Red Cross wasn't there," Fedosiuk added. "We don't know what the conditions [are], anything. The only thing we know is that conditions are very bad because we can see that on the videos and from this information from the exchanged soldiers they said that they were torturing them."
She continued that the exchanged soldiers have also reported having bad food and water, and told Van Susteren that the Russians are "breaking all the rules of the Geneva Convention."
"That is our biggest pain for the moment," said Fedosiuk. "We want to thank all American people for the support of Ukraine. We appreciate that very much, but at the same time, we are asking for help to influence on this."
She said her husband called her twice after his capture, "but it was a long time ago" and she has not heard from him after more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners being held in Olenivka were killed by a bomb there in July.
"I worry a lot because I understand that they can kill more soldiers there, and that's why we need the Red Cross to visit there, and we need to exchange them as quickly as possible," said Fedosiuk, admitting that she does not know if her husband is still alive.
Meanwhile, Prokopenko told Van Susteren that she was able to speak with her husband for a "few seconds" and he said "everything was OK with him, and we will speak later."
Prokopenko said she does not know if her husband, who before the war was an English teacher, is in good health, but she has seen the "terrifying" pictures of how he looked while he was detained.
Fedosiuk said her husband, now 29, became a soldier eight years ago, "because we must understand that war didn't start six months ago; it started eight years ago."
He had finished his university studies in 2014 and became a volunteer soldier, his wife said.
"He didn't want to fight but he had to," Fedosiuk told Van Susteren. "He understood that he had to protect our values of freedom. That is his words. And I am grateful for that because I understand in Mariupol he also defended me, so now we have to rescue them."
"The main target from now for us is to continue our struggling for other prisoners of war, for your husband, for other women's husbands, because they now are in danger," Prokopenko agreed. "We know that there is no Red Cross, no international organization who can protect them. They are just in total danger, and they have to fight for their lives."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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