A British citizen recently released after being captured by Russians while volunteering as a soldier in the fight against Russian invaders, has said he is struggling to adjust to life back in the UK and wishes to return to the frontlines in Ukraine.
Andrew Hill, a scaffolder from England, said he was tortured by Russian troops after being shot and injured in the east of Ukraine, and even witnessed children being killed.
“We were at an observation point and there were some kids playing in front of us, maybe about 100 meters away, and they were around 13 years old,” said Hill, a former British soldier who was deployed in Kherson during the beginning of Putin’s invasion in February.
“We had clear sight of them, and we got on the radio to let the command know so they could get a team together to clear them off.”
“Just as that was about to happen, the Russians targeted the play park with artillery and directly hit the children. The Russians don’t care. To me it almost seems like a genocide. They want to eradicate Ukrainian culture.”
Shot in the arm, Hill was eventually captured along with fellow Brits Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin – all of whom were released last month as part of a prisoner exchange.
Speaking to British newspaper The Sun, the 36-year-old said his Russian captors had subjected to him to brutal bouts of physical and psychological torture, including using his mobile phone to contact his teenage daughter and wife.
“My phone just lit up and said I had a message from Andrew’s phone,” Mrs. Hill said.
“They said they wanted 250,000 euros by a certain date or he’d be dead. The soldier had messaged everyone Andrew had on WhatsApp.”
“Every day there was something new and we told the Foreign Office about them straight away. We were only able to cope because we knew he was still alive.”
Despite this, Mr. Hill has said he still wants to return to Ukraine and fight on the frontlines.
“I haven’t settled in at home and it’s still active in my mind. I’m glad I went out there, it was the right thing to do and I don’t regret it at all,” he told The Sun.
“I still want to go back and fight,” he added. “I feel strongly for Ukraine and I want to help in any way I can. But my team has said that I can sit the next one out.”
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