That is the harrowing development to come just days after the 70-year-old leader ordered more than 300,000 fresh troops to mobilize into Ukraine as the prospect of taking the neighboring nation grows slimmer every day.
According to Daily Star, photos of the alleged prison camp recently surfaced showing at least 21 Russian soldiers being held as prisoners in “dungeon-like conditions” where they are frequently “threatened with mass execution by firing squad.”
The photos are suspected to have been taken in the Donetsk People’s Republic, a long-disputed entity and territory first created by Russia-backed separatists located in eastern Ukraine.
Nearly all of the prisoners reportedly refused to fight in Ukraine and signed sworn statements confirming the fact. They are also reportedly set to remain in the camps until they take back their statements refusing to fight.
“While in Ukraine, our relatives were forced to storm enemy positions,” read a joint and open statement penned by wives, mothers, and living loved ones of the imprisoned soldiers.
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“In this connection, they wrote statements refusing to participate in combat actions, citing convictions of conscience saying they could not, and would not, kill people,” the statement continued. “Subsequently, officers of different ranks repeatedly came to see the soldiers who had signed the reports, and interviewed them.”
“However, after seeing they couldn’t convince them, the commanding officers started threatening them with execution.”
Even more shocking is the fact that one of the imprisoned men was able to pass along a message to his loved ones in Russia. In the message, the soldier claimed he had not been fed in three days and was being kept illegally in the basement of an unknown facility.
“The illegal detention of the servicemen in the basement continues to this date. They are not given personal hygiene items, nor have they been told the reasons for their forcible detention,” the Russian prisoner wrote.
“They are called traitors and threatened with execution,” he continued. "On our part, we have appealed to the authorities, submitted statements about crimes, but there has been no appropriate reaction from the law enforcement agencies.”
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, the shocking revelation comes after it was also revealed some Russian soldiers are mutinying against their superiors while others are begging the Kremlin to rethink their strategy in Ukraine.