Inside Putin ‘punishment camp’ for mobilised Russian troops who are dumped in a cellar, ‘starved and threatened with firing squad’ for refusing to fight

  • Enlistees were dumped in a cellar in Donetsk region where they are starved 
  • Most of the refuseniks have written statements saying they refuse to fight
  • Wives and mothers have said they are labelled ‘traitors’ for their decision
  • The camp has a packed dormitory and a dungeon-like cellar inside it  

A picture shows Russian troops held in a Putin ‘punishment camp’ for brave mobilised heroes who refuse to fight in his illegal war.

The enlistees were dumped in a cellar in Donetsk region where they are ‘starved’ and ‘threatened with mass execution by firing squad’.

Independent Russian media outlet The Insider highlighted the plight of 21 refuseniks illegally held in the Donetsk People’s Republic, which Putin has annexed.

Most have written statements stating they refuse to fight because Putin’s war is against their conscience.

Their wives and mothers say they are labelled ‘traitors’ and face intolerable pressure to force them to rescind their statements.

The enlistees were dumped in a cellar in Donetsk region where they are ‘starved’ and ‘threatened with mass execution by firing squad’, pictured 


Pictured: The camp has a packed dormitory alongside a dungeon-like cellar 

The barbaric camp – including a packed dormitory but also a dungeon-like cellar in Zavitne Bazhannia – is feared to be one of many run by Putin’s military or forces allied to them, amid suspicions many more men than realised have refused to take up arms against Ukraine.

A collective letter from the wives and mothers of some of the men held in this hell-hole said: ‘While in Ukraine, our relatives were forced to storm enemy positions.

‘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.

‘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.’

The barbaric camp – including a packed dormitory but also a dungeon-like cellar in Zavitne Bazhannia – is feared to be one of many run by Putin’s military or forces allied to them, amid suspicions many more men than realised have refused to take up arms against Ukraine

On 4 November one of the men managed to contact his relative to say ‘they had not been fed for three days.

‘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.

‘They are called traitors and threatened with execution.

‘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.’

A collective letter from the wives and mothers of some of the men held in this hell-hole said: ‘While in Ukraine, our relatives were forced to storm enemy positions. ‘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’. Pictured: The dormitory of the camp

Elena Kashina told The Insider how her husband, 33, and other draftees were given cursory training with clapped-out weapons before being sent to the front.

The worried wife revealed: ‘He called me and said they were forced to attack enemy positions.

‘He told me: ‘I realised for myself I would never be able to kill a man…

‘I would close my eyes and ears, and I’ll be simply shot dead’.’

He wrote a formal legal statement on 12 October declaring he was a conscientious objector.

He told her: ‘Before I wrote it, a political officer of the 5th company in the DPR [pro-Putin Donetsk People’s Republic] told me: ‘If you guys write anything, we’ll execute you by shooting by firing squad, throw you into a common grave and tell your relatives you went missing’.

He told her that 14 men were threatened in this way.

‘He called me and said: ‘Lena [Elena], they might shoot me today. Our men will execute me’.

Elena Kashina, pictured, told The Insider how her husband, 33, and other draftees were given cursory training with clapped-out weapons before being sent to the front

The wife said: ‘Morally they are completely broken people.

‘They are broken psychiatrically and psychologically.

‘They were driven away and thrown into a basement not too far from the front line.’

There are now a total of 21 men, she said.

Many of the men should not have been sent to the war, even under the Russian criteria for selecting draftees.

Her husband had done only basic military conscription before – as a mechanic.

Others detained in the hell-hole ‘punishment camp’ worked for a defence plant and should have been exempt.

The commander overall responsible for the campaign is General Sergei ‘Armageddon’ Surovikin, appointed by Putin. Pictured: The general and his wife Anna 

The training they received shows the chaos in Putin’s mobilisation.

‘When they were at the range, they were given the opportunity to practice shooting for one day using an assault rifle,’ she said.

‘The rifle had a sight bent sideways, so he was unable to hit the target either from 400 meters or even from 100 meters.

‘The next day they were digging trenches, and that was all their combat training.

‘After that, they were sent to Ukraine.

‘My husband worked at a mining and smelting complex, which is considered a defence enterprise, so [under the Russian rules], they shouldn’t have called him up for military service.

‘But he was not so lucky.’

The Insider said: ‘The last time her husband got in touch was on 31 October, when he said that the objectors, including him, were being taken somewhere.’

The commander overall responsible for the campaign is General Sergei ‘Armageddon’ Surovikin, appointed by Putin.

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