Saturday 21 May 2022 12:34 AM Poignant last post of Ukraine's iconic 'ray of hope' warrior trends now
It was a photograph shared around the world, the brave Ukrainian soldier basking in a beam of sunshine penetrating the darkness of his underground fortress.
But that ray of hope was extinguished last night as it emerged Dima Kozatsky was among the hundreds of fighters captured by the Russians as their brave resistance came to an end.
For more than 80 days they had defended the besieged Azovstal steelworks in the coastal city of Mariupol. Mr Kozatsky, from the elite Azov Regiment, had documented their struggle in a series of pictures tweeted from his underground base as Russia bombed the Soviet-era factory.
His iconic self-portrait in sunshine will ensure their fight can never be forgotten, and he added more pictures and words to that legacy in the final hours of the fight. In his last post, he wrote: ‘Well that’s all there is. Thank you for sheltering me, Azovstal –the place of my death and my life.’
Mercifully, however, it can be revealed that he is still alive though ‘in captivity’. Russia’s defence minister claimed last night 1,908 of the crack troops had surrendered. Sergei Shoigu said he believed as many as 600 were still inside the plant.
It was a photograph shared around the world, the brave Ukrainian soldier basking in a beam of sunshine