"Everything was quiet, and then the horror started. I screamed..."

Battles in the Ukrainian offensive, aimed at recapturing territories in the south and east, lead to a steady flow of Russian prisoners.

Izvor: index.hr

Monday, 19.06.2023.

11:31

Ilustracija: Tanjug/Roman Chop via AP

"Everything was quiet, and then the horror started. I screamed..."

Many are likely to be exchanged for Ukrainian soldiers captured by Russian forces.

Russians passing through Kramatorsk surrendered after brutal fire as Ukrainian forces attacked Russia's first line of defense near the town of Velyka Novosilka in the Donetsk region.

Soldiers who took part in the offensive admit that previous attacks on forward positions have brought significant casualties. However, they add that the Russian infantry, which is tasked with holding back the initial attacks, is suffering even greater losses. The Russians still have to face Ukrainian brigades armed with powerful Western weapons.

Several Russian prisoners who spoke to the Wall Street Journal described Russian morale as poor. The prisoners also spoke about their voluntary surrender, which is a crime in Russia. One of those Russian prisoners, named Anatoly, told the WSJ that the men in his unit barely spoke to each other as they awaited the Ukrainian advance.

"Everyone was silent, thinking their own way, wondering which side they would come from. We were very scared. Nobody wants to die. We hoped that there would be no counteroffensive," he said. Anatoly is originally from the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia and worked as a construction worker at home. He claims that he joined the Russian army in Ukraine because his friends and acquaintances did.

"Propaganda said that Ukraine is bad, that people here are Nazis and so on. We heard that everywhere," he added.

"Everything was quiet for two days, but then a strong attack started. Everything became chaotic, bullets were flying, everyone started to run. Between shelling and mortar fire, I tried to look into the fields, find the enemy. But I couldn't find anyone," added the captured Russian.

According to him, after a few minutes, the Ukrainians managed to get close to the Russian positions and threw hand grenades into his trench.

He claims that five of his colleagues were killed, including his good friend Georgi. "I came out of the trench and started screaming: 'I surrender, I surrender!'" he said.

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