The family of 18-year-old Andrey Eyder lives in a single-storey house in a village near Odessa. Andrey, along with two dozen Ukrainian navy men, was captured by Russian security forces on November, 25. He is one of the three persons who were seriously wounded.
His mother Victoria says that he had dreamed of becoming a sailor since childhood, but started military service by accident. During his studies at a maritime lyceum, he was offered to sign a contract with the Naval Forces. The young man accepted the offer. But his first sailing aboard ‘Berdyansk’ boat turned to be fatal.
According to Russian media, now he is in one of Kerch hospitals. Andrey has reportedly undergone an operation. Ukrainians are expressing support for him and his comrades-in-arms on social media. Some consider him a hero. But the mother cannot welcome such descriptions.
“Hero? He is just a man who found himself in such a situation against his will!” she said.
At the moment, it is not possible to get any information about the captives’ health. Meanwhile, the navy command in Odessa invited the families of 24 seized soldiers to a meeting.
“The guys have done their civilian and military duty! The boys performed what they had been charged of! And today we have come together to coordinate and combine all efforts to get our boys back home,” Viktor Soroka, the father of a captive seaman, told Belsat TV.
The military have not disclosed the details of the meeting. But they stress that there is a clear plan for their returning to Ukraine. Assistance is being provided to their families.
“All the people who are facing problems know where they can get psychological help!” says Andrey Ursal, a representative of the Ukrainian Navy.
On November 25, three Ukrainian ships were captured by the Russian special forces in the Kerch Strait. According to Ukrainian media, Russia took prisoner 24 people, 6 sailors were injured. In response, 30-day martial law has been introduced in 10 regions of Ukraine — those bordering Russia, Transnistria and the Black Sea coast, as well as in Chernihiv region bordering Belarus. In turn, Putin called the incident ‘provocation staged by Poroshenko ahead of the presidential election in Ukraine’.
The three Ukrainian vessels seized by Russian military remain in Crimea.