Internet InfoMedia ukrainian family holds out hope son will be released by russians

On April 12, 2022, as Russian forces continued their siege of Mariupol, a 22-year-old Ukrainian marine messaged with his sister.

Serhiy

Maybe the prisoner exchange will happen if we’re lucky

Anna

God, maybe there is some way out

Serhiy

No it’s more than 120 kms

Anna

And Azov battalion?

They are there too

Also surrendering

Serhiy

They’ve blown up the bridge. We can’t reach them

Don’t worry. I hope all will be okay

We’ve already been trying for 3 days to break through. We can’t.

Anna

Maybe hide

I don’t know

Can I post??

Serhiy, we love you, everything will be okay

Serhiy, how are you???

Waiting for Serhiy

After nearly two years and only scraps of information, a Ukrainian family still hopes their son, a marine captured by the Russians in Mariupol, will come home soon.

Feb. 24, 2024, 5:04 a.m. ET

His attempts to escape the Russian siege had failed. He and his fellow Ukrainian marines were surrounded, dozens of miles from friendly lines. They were nearly out of food and water. Some panicked, others quietly resigned themselves to what would come next.

Then, about a day later, Serhiy Hrebinyk, a senior sailor, and his comrades emerged from their final holdout inside the sprawling Ilyich Iron and Steel Works in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. He quickly messaged his older sister: “Hi Anna. Our brigade surrenders in captivity today. Me too. I don’t know what will happen next. I love you all.”

That was April 12, 2022.

Nearly two years later, on the second anniversary of the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Serhiy, now 24, remains in captivity as a prisoner of war, held somewhere in Russia. His family sits in purgatory, trapped between that day in April and the present.

The initial panicked flurry of calls and visits to the Red Cross, the Ukrainian military and local officials quickly subsided; official proof of life took months to come. The war dragged on, and now, like thousands of other Ukrainian families with relatives in captivity, the Hrebinyks wait.

“Life, of course, has changed. Almost every day is filled with tears,” Svitlana Hrebinyk, Serhiy’s mother, said from her living room this month.

A woman stands in partial darkness next to a window.
Svitlana Hrebinyk inside her family’s home last week in the town of Trostyanets, in Ukraine’s Sumy region.


#g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box , #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box .g-artboard { margin:0 auto; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box .g-aiAltText { position: absolute; left: -10000px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden; white-space: nowrap; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box p { margin:0; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box .g-aiAbs { position:absolute; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box .g-aiImg { position:absolute; top:0; display:block; width:100% !important; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box .g-aiSymbol { position: absolute; box-sizing: border-box; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-box .g-aiPointText p { white-space: nowrap; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 { position:relative; overflow:hidden; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 p { font-family:nyt-franklin,arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-weight:500; font-style:normal; line-height:15px; height:auto; opacity:1; mix-blend-mode:normal; letter-spacing:0em; font-size:14px; text-align:left; color:rgb(102,102,102); top:1.1px; position:static; text-transform:none; padding-bottom:0; padding-top:0; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle0 { line-height:13px; height:13px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; text-align:right; color:rgb(0,0,0); position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle1 { line-height:13px; height:13px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle2 { font-weight:700; line-height:13px; height:13px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; text-align:right; color:rgb(0,0,0); position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle3 { font-style:italic; height:15px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; text-align:center; position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle4 { line-height:17px; height:17px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; letter-spacing:0.1em; font-size:17px; text-align:center; text-transform:uppercase; color:rgb(0,0,0); top:1.4px; position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle5 { line-height:13px; height:13px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; color:rgb(0,0,0); position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle6 { line-height:17px; height:17px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; letter-spacing:0.125em; font-size:17px; text-align:center; text-transform:uppercase; top:1.4px; position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle7 { font-style:italic; height:15px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; letter-spacing:0.025em; text-align:center; text-transform:uppercase; position:relative; } #g-UKRAINE-MARIUPOL-MOTHERmap-335 .g-pstyle8 { line-height:8px; height:8px; mix-blend-mode:multiply; letter-spacing:0.125em; font-size:10px; text-align:center; text-transform:uppercase; color:rgb(0,0,0); top:0.8px; position:relative; }

Map locates the town of Trostyanets in northeastern Ukraine, and the eastern cities of Mariupol and Olvenika. It also locates the town of Kamyshin, on the Volga River in Russia.

Internet InfoMedia UKRAINE MARIUPOL MOTHERmap 335

Kamyshin

Kyiv

Trostyanets

Volga River

Ukraine

Olenivka

Mariupol

RuSsia

Sea of

Azov

Black

Sea

Crimea

150 miles

By The New York Times

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