Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Briton who was captured by Russian forces sends huge warning to Putin

Briton held as prisoner of war describes torture by Russian forces

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A former British soldier who was captured by Russia’s forces while fighting alongside Ukrainian troops and brutally tortured to the point he couldn’t walk has warned Vladimir Putin: “One day, you’ll be found out.” Shaun Pinner from Bedfordshire was one of five British nationals released from Russian detention in Ukraine in September as part of a prisoner swap deal. He said he had been serving with regular military units in Mariupol but was detained in the Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.

Mr Pinner recalled the terrifying experience of his captives giving him brutal electric shocks, telling Sky News’ Beth Rigby: “You feel like your muscles are popping out of you, your body.

“And the next day, my legs inflated very badly. The blood was kind of capillaries were leaking blood from my legs.

“When I took my thermal off I was just bleeding from my leg from the electric shock, and my legs had inflated so I couldn’t walk.”

The prisoner of war described how his clothing was cut away by one man to see if he had any right-wing tattoos, but was still then stabbed in the leg.

He recalled: “He just went ‘Oh’ and I was just bleeding everywhere, all over my legs.

“I was screaming and then I had 200 volts go through me on the chair, control my leg, and I was literally standing up and he electrocuted me in there. I didn’t really ask any questions.”

Ahead of the first anniversary of the conflict, Mr Pinner also described what he witnessed while fighting in Ukraine.

He said: “The bombing goes all the way back from the front lines to Mariupol.

“I saw a school, with the kids’ coats hanging up where they’ve been evacuated and put in a cellar, and they just hit the school, didn’t care about it. They were hitting any government building they could target.”

The British national also recalled the moment Russians rushed over the border during the early stages of the invasion of Ukraine, saying he was “petrified” because it was “Russia”.

Earlier this month, Volodymyr Zelensky met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak while also appealing for fighter jets to Ukraine in the continued war with Russia.

Mr Pinner backed the calls from the Ukrainian President, and said they need “continued support”.

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When asked by Ms Rigby what his message to Putin is, he paused for a few seconds and replied: “One day, he will be found out. It’s difficult because people feel restrictive in what they feel, but I hope one day he will be found out.

The British national also urged Ukraine not to begin engaging in any peace talks with Putin, warning that if any ground is given away, they will return and “push a bit more – like they’ve done with Crimea”.

Mr Pinner added: “One of the things I say to people is, how much of America or Norway or Britain would you be willing to lose to talk peace?

“I doubt America would give up an inch, especially Britain wouldn’t. So, you know, Ukraine is exactly the same.

“If we give an inch now, they will come back in three years, five years, push a bit more – like they’ve done with Crimea.”

On Tuesday, Putin launched furious attacks against the West in a rare State of the Nation speech, blaming it for starting the war in Ukraine.

The Russian President also used an address to mark today’s Defender of the Fatherland public holiday to say Russia will continue to pay increased attention to boosting its nuclear forces and will mass begin supplies of sea-based Zircon hypersonic missiles.

There are also surging fears over Russia’s deepening ties with China, after Beijing’s top diplomat Wang Yi met Putin at the Kremlin on Wednesday, with the “rock solid” relationship between the two countries hailed.

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