SICK Russian guards made a Brit prisoner of battle record a goodbye message to his daughter in a mock execution stunt.

John Harding, 59, was launched after being captured combating for Ukraine and has now returned to dwelling, the place he has been recounting the hell he endured.

John has spoken of his ordeal at the hands of the Russians

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John has spoken of his ordeal by the hands of the RussiansCredit score: Dan Charity
John pictured with Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin

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John pictured with Shaun Pinner and Aiden AslinCredit score: Common Information & Sport

With John on the flight again to the UK on Wednesday had been Shaun Pinner, Aiden Aslin, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill.

The captives had been freed in a shock deal negotiated between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

John, from Sunderland, was serving as a fight medic with the Ukrainian armed forces when he fell into Russian fingers.

In addition to savage beatings, his captors performed warped psychological video games with him.

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The dad-of-two advised the Day by day Mail, at one level he was ordered to record a message as a result of he was due to be executed by firing squad.

He stated he was held in a complete of three jails, together with one he dubbed “The Darkish Aspect”, in Russian-held Donetsk, the place he was repeatedly battered by guards from the area’s police drive.

Within the worst beating, a group of guards cackled as they strapped a service bag over his head, cuffed his fingers behind his again and unleashed a 30-minute pummelling.

They punched, kicked and jumped on his physique, breaking most his ribs and leaving him passing blood when urinating.

He was additionally charged and convicted by a ­kangaroo courtroom of battle crimes, and confronted a minimal of 20 years in jail.

With tears streaming down his face, John advised The Solar: “I thought, ‘I simply want they’d f***ing kill me now’. 

“That was the worst second — the way in which they handled us was appalling. In my head I simply advised myself, ‘I’ve been hit tougher by my sister’.

“If I’d have recognized how we’d be handled earlier than we surrendered, I would’ve stayed and arrange a sniper’s nest and simply tried to take a few of them out earlier than I received killed.

“The opposite prisoners and I stored our spirits up by having a chuckle with one another by way of our cells. 

“We’d joke about how we appreciated our steak cooked since we had been consuming solely bread.”

John had been serving in Ukraine as a medic with the 2nd Battalion of the Azov Regiment.

He surrendered and was taken prisoner in Could after his unit ran out of ammo whereas in the Azovstal Steelworks in the besieged port of Mariupol in Jap Ukraine.

Aiden and Shaun, who had been additionally captured in Mariupol, had been sentenced to dying by a Russian proxy courtroom Donetsk.

John was thrown on a bus and stored on it for three days feeding off biscuits and soiled water whereas his jail was ready.

However on Tuesday the prisoners had been advised to collect their belongings. They had been launched at a Russian airport the place they had been met by Saudis who escorted them on to the aircraft to Riyadh, together with 5 different foreigners, a group of bodyguards and a crew of three.

John has revealed the surreal second he set eyes on Abramovich, who handed every of the boys an iPhone 13 so they might name their households and allow them to know they had been heading dwelling.

“I didn’t even discover however Shaun stated it appeared like him,” he advised The Solar.

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“He went over to him on the aircraft and requested the place he was from and Roman stated ‘London’.

“Then Shaun stated, ‘You actually appear like Roman Abramovich’ and he replied, ‘That’s as a result of I am him, sir’. He couldn’t consider it.

“I joked that Shaun is a West Ham fan and all of us laughed.”