Ukrainian soldier released from captivity sees apple for first time in almost a year – photo of the week

5 February, 08:20 PM
Marketer and soldier Maksym Kolesnikov, February 4, 2023 (Photo:Andriy Kachor / Facebook)

Marketer and soldier Maksym Kolesnikov, February 4, 2023 (Photo:Andriy Kachor / Facebook)

Ukraine and Russia have conducted another major exchange of war prisoners on Feb. 4, as a result of which 116 Ukrainians returned home. Forty-five-year-old Maksym Kolesnikov, who was captured by the enemy near Kyiv in the first days of the war, was among them. 

Snapped by photographer Andriy Kachor, in the photo, Kolesnikov is holding an apple.

“He’s seeing fruit for the first time in almost a year. He says: ‘I’m almost afraid to taste it.’ But he wasn’t. He took a bite of it. And in a second, he said: ‘This is… awesome. It’s just awesome,’” Kachor wrote on Facebook.

Video of day

According to the photographer, he photo was actually taken by accident: while trying to record a video, he pressed the wrong button. However, the picture has now gone viral around the world.

Kolesnikov comes from Donetsk, but later he moved with his family to Kyiv. He worked in business, and was the director of marketing and advertising at the Eldorado, Good Day Pharmacy, and other chains. He defended Ukraine when he was mobilized to the Armed Forces during the anti-terrorist operation, serving in the 26th Artillery Brigade.

Also, during his service, he was engaged in the provision of the army in the Office of Reforms under the Cabinet of Ministers for half a year. In 2022, he again joined the ranks of the Armed Forces, news outlet Novynarnia wrote on Feb. 4.

Kolesnikov’s friends say that they did not know about his whereabouts for a long time since the start of the war. In enemy captivity, he lost a lot of weight and turned gray.

Russia and Ukraine conducted a new exchange of war prisoners on Feb. 4, with 116 Ukrainians returned from Russian captivity, including defenders of Mariupol, Kherson partisans, and snipers from the Bakhmut area. In addition, Ukraine managed to return the bodies of two dead foreign volunteers, as well as the body of a dead volunteer soldier.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, 1,762 Ukrainian men and women have been returned from enemy captivity.

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