Giving details of the Russian military's brutality on civilians in Ukraine amid the ongoing war, a Ukrainian civilian has shared his horrific story of how he was shot in the face and buried alive by the Russian soldiers but somehow still survived.
The man, Mykola Kulichenko, in an interview with CNN, revealed that "his brothers, Yevhen and Dmytro, were shot and buried by Russian troops, three and a half weeks after Russia invaded their country."
He said that the Russian troops targetted his house on March 18 as they hunted for the Ukrainians responsible for bombing Russian troops.
By the side of a remote road in the northern Chernihiv region of Ukraine, Mykola showed the unmarked grave in which he and his two brothers were buried after being tortured for three days by Russian soldiers who thought that they are hiding something and may have been connected to the bombing of Russian soldiers.
"Three soldiers told the brothers to kneel in the front yard while they searched the home looking for anything that would link them to the bombed convoy," Mykola was quoted as saying by CNN.
"They beat my whole body with a metal rod, and they put the barrel of a gun inside my mouth," he said.
First, he heard a shot behind him, Mykola reportedly said, and his eldest brother, Dmytro, fell to the ground. Next, he felt Yevhen drop by his side. Then, Mr Kulichenko was shot, however, he said that he was lucky enough to survive as the bullet did not hit his head.
According to Mykola, the Russian soldiers kicked the bodies into the pit, covered with mud and left.
According to Mykola, after playing dead for several hours, he crawled his way out and reached the nearest house he could find where a woman took him in and cared for him overnight.
"I was lucky... and now I have to just go on living," he said, adding, "This story needs to be heard by everyone, not just in Ukraine, but around the world because these kinds of things are happening and this is just one in a billion."
(with CNN inputs)