If the Russians capture the village, all residents must hand over their phones. The Russians are afraid of transferring their positions to the Ukrainian army. “We didn’t have an internet connection,” Volodymyr says. Then they stormed the village and took the things.”
But it’s not just about things for the Russians. They are also looking for members of the community village group. According to Volodymyr, fifteen residents were members of it. “On the first day the Russians were in the village, the members of the guard were killed on the spot. The young men were also collected by the Russians. They were imprisoned in pits, beaten and tortured, and eighteen boys are still missing.”
Sleeping on a concrete floor
He himself was also arrested. With eleven other people, he was blindfolded and taken away. They wander around for more than an hour. When the blindfold went off his eyes, he noticed he was in the basement.
Volodymyr says he was kept in that basement for fifteen days. He sleeps on a cold concrete floor and is only allowed to go to the toilet under supervision. There is hardly any food and drink and he is beaten up. According to Volodymyr, the Russians also use their weapons to intimidate them. “They shot another inmate in the head with a pistol,” he added.
The group holding them consists of six Russians. According to Volodymyr, in the early days of the war, most of them were young people. Later, they were relieved by the older soldiers between the ages of 40 and 50. The group is led by a 35-year-old pioneer. They called him “the German”.
The Russians regularly come to get someone for questioning. Volodymyr says that four men did not return from this interrogation.
One day he must come himself. “They started asking stupid questions.” Where do you live? What is your name? did you fight “I told them they could shoot me, and I had no information about them.”
Despite the ban on asking questions, he asks the Russians what they are doing in Ukraine. “The Russians told me they were here to save us. I asked how they would do it if they killed the women and children and held me at gunpoint.”
thrown into a car like animals
Volodymyr’s imprisonment ends as unexpectedly as it began. “After 15 days of captivity, we were thrown like animals into a car. When the Russians took the bandanas out of our eyes, we were standing in the middle of a forest. They said: Hurry up, run before we change our minds.”
The village of Mirtsya has been under the control of Ukraine since this week, after the Russians withdrew from the north of the country. In the neighboring village of Borodjanka, the situation is very dangerous, according to Ukrainian President Zelensky. Volodymyr does not know how his village is going: he has not yet been able to return.
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