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Ukrainian Man Accuses Russian Troops Of Mock Executions And Torture

Ukrainian Man Accuses Russian Troops Of Mock Executions And Torture

Petro Titenko says he was held captive and abused for three days

A man has accused Russia of holding mock executions and torturing prisoners.

Petro Titenko has spoken out about the brutality he says he experienced at the hands of Russian and Chechen soldiers after being caught breaking curfew.

The 45-year-old alleged he was held captive for three days, during which he says he was beaten and ordered to kneel in a 'grave' as bullets fired over his head.

Speaking to The Guardian, Petro said he and his family were forced to leave Borodyanka, north west of Kyiv, for Druzhnya after the roof of their home was blown apart by a shell at the start of the war.

After hiding in a basement for three weeks, Petro snuck out after curfew to check on his brother, who lived a few miles away, but was picked up by Russian troops, who accused him of helping the Ukrainian army.

Petro told the outlet he was tied to the back of a tank and forced to breathe in the engine fumes before being left to stand in the woods overnight.

Petro and his wife, Yulia.

The following day, his captors appeared with another prisoner.

Petro recalled: "He was saying a rocket flew from there, an artillery installation was installed there.

"They told him it was valuable information and that they would release him."

But he wasn't and the pair were taken to another location. There, Petro says he was forced to lie in the mud before being kicked into a pit.

One of the soldiers, thought to be Chechen, asked him: "You do not want to add anything to your words?", before firing shots over his head.

Petro said: "At that point I was sure I would be killed and buried. And my wife and my children will never know where I died. At that moment I asked God: let me get through this."

After lying in the pit for several hours, Petro and the other prisoner had sacks put on their heads and were taken to a cottage.

Petro says he was tied to the back of a tank and forced to breathe in the engine fumes.

While the other prisoner made a break for it through the woods, Petro decided to stay.

He said: "I was interrogated all night. They wanted to know if I was a spy for the Ukrainian army. They took all my documents, passport, car documents, driver’s licence."

He was then taken to another location, where there were more prisoners.

"Some were shouting there, some were crying," he recalled. "I was beaten for 15-20 minutes, then a machine gun was fired over my head, shot at my feet. All this time I prayed to God to save my life."

Petro said he was then stripped to his underwear as Russian troops inspected his body looking for 'Ukrainian tattoos'.

One soldier told him: "If we find them, we will cut them together with the skin."

They also allegedly accused the group of being Nazis, while the prisoner who escaped was also recaptured and 'never seen again'.

The following morning, Petro and his fellow prisoners were put on a truck and dropped off near Ozera, a small village around 20 miles from his home.

Petro said that when he got back to his family, they decided to leave and headed west.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Handout/Alamy

Topics: Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, Vladimir Putin, Russia