World News

Russian troops stripped naked and thrown into pit for refusing to fight: report

A video posted on social media on Saturday allegedly shows Russian soldiers being forced to stay in a pit after their clothes were confiscated.

WarTranslated, an independent media project that translates documents about the Russian-Ukrainian war into English, shared the video on X, formerly Twitter. The clip’s caption said the information on the 17-second video came from the spouse of one of the soldiers.

The reason for this type of punishment was that soldiers allegedly refused to fight on the front lines of the war without sufficient equipment.

News week was unable to independently verify the video and contacted the Russian Defense Ministry by email for comment.

Russian servicemen patrol the destroyed part of the Ilyich Steel Plant in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on May 18, 2022. New video shared by WarTranslated reportedly shows Russian soldiers being held in a pit after refusing to fight on the front lines of the war.
Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Image

“Russian servicemen are stripped naked and thrown into pits for refusing to engage in a meat assault without proper equipment,” WarTranslated wrote in its post about the video.

He adds that a soldier who was in the pit said a commander told them that to “get out they had to pay 400,000 rubles. These particular men spent 4 nights in the pit completely naked.”

The audio translation of the video indicated that if the men did not pay the rubles, they were told “we will cancel you and bury you in this pit.”

The media project’s account states in its caption that the wife of one of the men said the soldiers indicated they could be thrown into the pit for no reason or if “the leaders don’t like them.”

“Similarly, she said that in order to go on leave, officers had to be paid 200,000 rubles in cash,” WarTranslated wrote. “Otherwise, they will never leave the zero line.”

“Zero Line” is a term Russians frequently use to refer to the front lines of a battlefield.

Saturday’s post is not the first time WarTranslated has shared reports that Russian troops are disobeying orders. In July, the account also posted a video on X that allegedly showed Russian troops saying they had been put in a pit by a commander for refusing to fight on Ukraine’s front lines.

“We were locked in this pit for refusing to cross the zero line. (We) sat here for two days,” one of the soldiers said in the video, according to WarTranslated’s English captions.

In late June, the media project shared a video of a Russian military Storm-Z company declaring that it would not return to what it calls the “meat grinder” of the front lines.

“They just came back and said we need to go back to the zero line in (the Zaporizhzhia region village) Priyutny to the meat grinder,” a soldier is quoted as saying in that video. “The purpose of this address is that we will send it to all our loved ones, and we refuse to obey the orders for a number of reasons discussed above.”

He added: “We are surrendering to the military police. If one of us dies here, it will not be on the zero line. That would mean we were killed by our own means here, not in combat. “