Ukrainian man shouted Glory to Ukraine after not realising troops were Russian

A man who called out “Glory to Ukraine” to a group of invading Russian troops, thinking they were Ukrainians, has been held prisoner in Russia since late February.

Ivan Drozd, a 27-year-old from Katyuzhanka, near Kyiv, had been trying to get home from the northern village of Lutizh and arranged to meet his brother Ihor on the way, in a town called Kozarovich which is a little further north..

Ivan – and a friend called Igor who was travelling with him – had chosen the roundabout route to avoid Russian roadblocks by walking cross-country, but their detour ended up landing them in the middle of a group of Russian soldiers.

"We moved about three kilometers from Dymer,” Igor said. “There was a field. I think it was already Kozarovich. We crossed a barrier and there in the bushes sat the soldiers.

“They say: ‘Stop, who goes there?’ And [Ivan] says: ‘Guys, don't shoot, we’re yours, Glory to Ukraine ’.”

The Russians sarcastically replied "Yeah, glory to Ukraine,” and took Ivan into custody.

The two men were taken prisoner and tied to trees. Towards the evening of the next day, they were taken to a warehouse in Kozarovichi.

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Ivan’s wife Anna waited for two months for him to return, before fleeing to a safer location.

Before she left, Anna put a note on the door of her house: "We have left, you know where to look for us."

Ukrainian troops who have been released from Russian captivity tell of brutal treatment.

Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, who has been arranging the prisoner exchanges with Russia, told the BBC: "There were badly injured people in this exchange – amputated limbs, sepsis, other severe injuries.

"There were clear signs of torture. The stories they told us are terrible."

One captive, 28-year-old Serhiy Vasylyha, was returned with both feet amputated.

Another man taken prisoner by the Russians told how he had been tortured – at one point having a wrench tightened around one of his knuckles until the skin tore open.

The Russians took away their captives’ boots, before filling them with water and then forcing the prisoners to put the boots back on.

"We lay like that for three or four nights, under the rain, getting colder and colder," one of the prisoners said.

Ivan’s wife Anna recently discovered that he was being held prisoner over the border in the Bryansk region. There’s no word of his condition and no date has been set for his release.

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