Russian soldiers are thrown naked into a pit if they refuse to embark on suicide missions against Ukrainian artillery, it has been revealed.
The mobilised men suffer the brutal punishment for defying Vladimir Putin’s orders – and aren’t allowed out of the pit until they pay a £4,000 bribe, the wife of one of the soldier’s said.
Video shows the Russian soldiers standing half-naked in the deep pit as they look down at the ground: their punishment for refusing to fight against Ukrainian soldiers without proper military equipment and food.
The five soldiers in the video spent four nights in the pit – and are only allowed to leave if they pay a £4,000 bribe, said Olga Belanovskaya, whose husband Maxim, 28, is on the front lines.
If they don’t pay the large sum, the soldiers would be ‘liquidated’ and ‘buried in the pit’.
Olga, who has no idea if Maxim is alive, also revealed the soldiers are forced to pay a £1,785 bribe if they want to go on leave. Otherwise, they will never leave the front lines where they are being sent into a ‘meat grinder’ of Ukrainian machine gun nests.
Video shows the Russian soldiers standing half-naked in the deep pit as they look down at the ground: their punishment for refusing to fight against Ukrainian soldiers without proper military equipment and food
The five soldiers in the video spent four nights in the pit – and are only allowed to leave if they pay a £4,000 bribe, Olga Belanovskaya (pictured), whose husband Maxim, 28, is on the front lines
The mobilised men suffer the brutal punishment for defying Vladimir Putin ‘s orders – and aren’t allowed out of the pit until they pay a £4,000 bribe, the wife of one of the soldier’s said. Pictured: Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on Tuesday
She said the soldiers are given the ‘shortest time possible’ to dig the trenches – and only when they finish are they given food and water.
Olga flew seven time zones across Russia to reach Moscow with a ‘collective appeal’ for Putin’s authorities to allow mobilised men to come home amid the disgusting conditions on the front lines.
She said: ‘I came [to Moscow] with a personal appeal to President Putin’s administration, the Ministry of Defence and other authorities.
‘Our young men are sitting inside holes dug in the ground. They are forced to strip naked and can only leave them if they pay a bribe of 400,000 roubles (£3,575).
‘They are sent to these holes for refusing to go into attack without proper equipment after being ordered to go with just machine guns against artillery, tanks, mortars.
‘To take a break, soldiers have to pay 200,000 roubles (£1,785).
‘They are given the shortest time possible to dig trenches, and only after that the soldiers are given a bottle of water and some basic food – until then there is no food.’
Olga said the wounded soldiers are not spared the dire treatment.
‘Even the wounded who are kept in a basement aren’t given food, in other words, they are finishing them [the wounded soldiers] off.
‘Wounded soldiers, even those who are on crutches and in wheelchairs are sent back to the front.’
If they try to get medical exemption ‘they get rejected’.
Olga is part of a growing number of women in Russia who are voicing their anger over Putin’s war.
It comes as Putin has ordered the gagging of women demonstrating against his war.
Wives of mobilised men take to the streets in Moscow to demand Vladimir Putin bring their men home
An officer speaks to women in Moscow who are protesting the mobilisation of young men in Putin’s war
Until now many Russians have felt too intimidated by Putin’s police state to protest, but it appears many more are doing so as the death toll soars in the conflict
He is concerned that the rising number of protests now underway from wives and mothers of forcibly mobilised men will harm his planned campaign for re-election in March.
Putin is all too aware that a revolt led by mothers resulted in the end of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan in 1979, and hastened the collapse of the USSR.
His regional officials and secret services have been ordered to stamp out anti-war dissent at any cost, say reports.
One recent protest saw a woman anti-war campaigner declare: ‘Putin is spitting in your face.’
She expressed outrage that the dictator is freeing and pardoning thousands of murderers and rapists who served six months in his war, while condemning ordinary law-abiding mobilised men to stay at the front like cannon fodder until the end of the war, and locking up those who complain.
Another protest saw an unprecedented petition of 100,000 women calling for mobilised men to come home.
Now it is revealed that regional governors have been ordered to crackdown on protests, currently running at their highest levels nationwide in the almost 21-month war as anger rises over his dictatorial methods.
One regional government source told The Insider: ‘The task is to stop external [street] protests at any cost.
‘Persuade, promise, pay.
‘Anything, as long as it doesn’t go out onto the street, in any quantity, even 50 people.’
The order was given to regional officials by Putin’s presidential administration, said the source.
Protest organisers have been contacted by the feared FSC security service and threatened with sanctions if they go ahead with demonstrations that – the authorities worry – might spiral out of control.
Recently there have been limited protests in Moscow, Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk, among other cities, but many have been banned.
The authorities in St. Petersburg used anti-Covid restrictions to ban a rally.
Mass events have been barred for the rest of the year in Putin’s home city.
One anti-war protester, beautician Olga Kats, has vowed to challenge Putin after he flatly rejected her petition signed by 100,000 women to allow mobilised men to come home, including her brother (pictured together)
Women and girls have shared pictures with signs demanding the return of their men from the brutal frontline
‘Putin is spitting in your face’, say women anti-war protesters in Khabarovsk who are angry about Putin freeing and pardoning thousands of murderers who served six months in his war
Olga Tsukanova, 47, founder of the Council of Wives and Mothers, has been included in the register of ‘foreign agents’, and faces repression as a criminal prosecution is launched against her.
One anti-war protester, beautician Olga Kats, has vowed to challenge Putin after he flatly rejected her petition signed by 100,000 women to allow mobilised men to come home.
She began her campaign because she wants her brother Aleksander, 26, back after more than a year on the frontline.
‘We are seeking to establish a maximum service period for mobilisation,’ she said.
‘It’s high time to bring home the civilian men who fell under partial mobilisation.’
‘The Presidential Administration simply decided not to care about the efforts of 100,000 people,’ she said.
She was told the men would only come home ‘at the end of hostilities’.
An image shows her and other women demanding the mobilised troops be allowed home.
‘The only one whose words we will believe is Putin,’ she said after being contacted by his administration in a failed bid to silence her.
‘And I said we need to hear these words before the New Year.’
Until now many Russians have felt too intimidated by Putin’s police state to protest, but it appears many more are doing so as the death toll soars in the conflict.
But in Moscow women took to the streets in the shadow of the Kremlin with placards reading ‘Give the children their fathers back’, ‘It’s time for the mobilised to go home’, and ‘Justice is demobilisation for the mobilised’.
One of the women – named Inna – said: ‘The kids ask where their daddy is, when he’s coming back, and we have no answers.
‘We are just living in hell.’
In Khabarovsk, a protest leader ranted against police seeking to control a demonstration by mainly women.
‘Shame on you! Shame! Shame! Shame on the police,’ she said. ‘Disgraceful! Stop arresting the protesters!’