Ukraine’s presidency said on Tuesday that 32 of its soldiers had been released and the body of an Israeli citizen had been handed over to it in the latest prisoner exchange with Russia.
“A new exchange of prisoners took place today. We secured the release of 32 of our soldiers and the return of the remains of Israeli citizen Dmytro Fialka,” Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to the president, wrote on Telegram.
Fialka, 39, was shot dead by the Russian army last September. The place of his death had remained undetermined until now.
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Fialka moved to Ukraine from Israel in 2015 to take care of her ailing grandmother, leaving her mother and brother in Beersheba.
He then chose to stay in Ukraine, where he met the woman who would become his wife, his friend Igor Yarkayev told the Ynet news site in September.
In Israel, Fialka coached Maccabi Beersheba youth football club. In Lviv, in western Ukraine, he continued his activities as a sports coach.
“He coached several clubs in Lviv and he was following a course in Donetsk to obtain the UEFA coaching licence. Just before the end of this course, the war broke out,” Yarkayev recalled.
Fialka then enlisted in the Ukrainian army.
Yarkayev told Ynet he last spoke with his friend in August, when the latter was undergoing basic military training.
This is Dima Fialka, an Israeli youth soccer coach, who was killed days after going to fight for #Ukraine against #Russia.
His family and friends need help retrieving his body, which is believed to be held by the Russians. https://t.co/jUjFUzx3vv pic.twitter.com/1JzuVFXSGF
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) September 5, 2022
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