A freed British prisoner of struggle who was held by Russian-backed separatists has advised Sky Information how he was tortured over a number of days.
John Harding mentioned he was used as a “punching bag” by the guards in a holding facility within the self-declared Donetsk Folks’s Republic in jap Ukraine.
The centre was run by the MGB, which he mentioned was the Donetsk equal of Russia’s FSB, previously the KGB.
He mentioned he was held there for about 9 days in a small cell about 3ft by 6ft, between being taken to the prosecutor’s workplace for questioning.
Mr Harding was certainly one of 5 Britons freed in latest days in a prisoner swap with Russia. He’s now again within the UK after his launch with the assistance of the Ukrainians and the Saudis.
Mr Harding, 59, had been in Ukraine instructing its troopers the best way to use first assist kits.
When the Russians crossed the border within the February invasion, they had been close to his base and he ended up within the Azovstal metal complicated in Mariupol, the place he and his colleagues fled as a result of it was defensive place with underground tunnels.
They had been surrounded after the positioning was besieged by Russian forces and famously held out there for quite a few weeks earlier than surrendering in Might as a result of working out of ammunition.
He mentioned he was initially taken to a prisoner of struggle camp for about 4 days earlier than being transported to the holding facility the place he suffered days of torture.
Mr Harding mentioned he suffered a fractured sternum, injury to his coccyx, damaged ribs and neurological injury to his hand in Donetsk.
He mentioned he was crushed up about 5 to 6 occasions by the guards “for enjoyable”.
“And I went to the prosecutor’s workplace possibly 5 – 6 occasions as effectively which meant I used to be crushed on the best way there and crushed on the best way again too,” he added.
Within the worst assault, which lasted about half-hour, he mentioned he was handcuffed together with his arms behind his again and was pushed to the ground.
He mentioned no less than 4 guards kicked him within the chest, ribs, kidneys and within the face.
“One man stood on my hips and jumped up and down on me,” he mentioned.
He added: “I feel I used to fairly annoy the guards as a result of I have a tendency to not scream once I’m crushed and I feel that irritated them.”
Mr Harding admitted he feared for his life a number of occasions.
“I had a sense… in the event that they kicked you to demise they would not be that bothered. Greater than as soon as I used to be of the opinion I wanted to only get it over with. I believed it was heading that means. And so they had been simply prolonging it. Making it unnecessarily lengthy.”
“If you’ll be killed higher to get it over with. They loved it, the tormentors.”
“I used to be ready for the worst and presumably at that time I did not see any escape.”
He mentioned he was given “little or no meals and water” and never allowed any outdoors train throughout his time there.
Mr Harding mentioned more often than not in his cell was spent listening out for guards.
“You had been at all times conscious that there was a digicam within the nook of the cell.”
He says being seen too static could possibly be harmful, particularly if asleep.
“If the guards noticed that you just had been static and never transferring for a bit, they’d come all the way down to see for those who had been asleep, and for those who had been asleep you’d get a beating.”
Mr Harding mentioned after about 9 days in detention he was moved to a civilian jail the place he was stored for months till his launch.
He mentioned the therapy within the jail was not as dangerous as that which he confronted within the detention centre.