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For Families Of Ukrainian Prisoners Of War, An Agonizing Search For Answers

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For Families Of Ukrainian Prisoners Of War, An Agonizing Search For Answers

Azovstal steel plant is pictured in the city of Mariupol on August 5, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

The soldiers known as the Azovstal defenders are heroes in Ukraine. They held out for months against the Russians, fighting from a bombed-out steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol.

When the city fell, the Ukrainian soldiers were taken captive by Russia.

Last month, the prison where they were being held was rocked by an explosion. More than 50 people died according to Russian sources, and both Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the attack.

NPR's Joanna Kakissis and producer Iryna Matviyishyn spoke to some of these soldiers' families as they waited to find out whether the men were dead or alive.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

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