Russian Troops Stripped Naked, Thrown in Pit for Refusing to Fight

Russian Troops Stripped Naked, Thrown in Pit for Refusing to Fight


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

WarTranslated, an independent media project that translates materials about the Russia-Ukraine war into English, shared the video to X, formerly Twitter. The clip’s caption said that information about the 17-second video came from a spouse of one of the soldiers.

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

Newsweek could not independently verify the video and contacted Russia’s Ministry of Defense via email for comment.

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

It added that a soldier that was in the pit said a commander told them that in order “to get out, they need to pay up 400,000 rubles. These particular men spent 4 nights in the pit completely naked.”

The translated audio on the video said that if the men didn’t pay the rubles, they were told “we will nullify and bury you in this pit.”

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

“Likewise, she said that to go on leave, one needs to pay the officers 200,000 rubles in cash,” WarTranslated wrote. “Otherwise, they’ll never leave the zero line.”

“Zero line” is a term that Russians frequently use for a battlefield’s front lines.

Saturday’s post is not the first time WarTranslated has shared material of Russian troops disobeying orders. In July, the account also posted a video on X that reportedly showed Russian troops saying they were put in a pit by a commanding officer for refusing to fight on Ukraine’s front lines.

“We’ve been locked in this pit for refusing to go the zero line. [We have] sat here for two days,” one of the soldiers in the clip said, according to WarTranslated’s English captions.

In late June, the media project shared a video of a Storm-Z company from Russia’s military saying they would not return to what they called the “meat grinder” of the front lines.

“They just came again and said we need to go to zero line at [the Zaporizhzhia region village of] Priyutny to the meat grinder again,” a solider in that video reportedly said. “The point of this address is that we’ll send it to all our relatives, and we refuse to obey orders for a number of aforementioned reasons.”

He added: “We surrender to military police. If any of us die here, it wouldn’t be on the zero line. It would mean we were killed by our own here, not in combat.”

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