Ukrainian soldier tells story of how Wagnerites amputated both his arms without stitching

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Ukrainian soldier Illia Mykhalchuk who was captured by the Russian troops near the city of Bakhmut had his arms amputated in a dark basement by the Russians, and no stitches were applied to his wounds.

Source: The Washington Post

Details: The Ukrainian soldier told a story of how in February 2023, mercenaries from the Wagner Private Military Company hit a convoy of Ukrainian military armoured vehicles. Back then, an anti-tank missile pierced Mykhalchuk’s vehicle. He had to pull the tourniquet on his mutilated limbs himself: his right arm was covered in shreds of cut flesh, and his left arm was cut by shrapnel. A few minutes later, the Russians drew closer and shot him in the legs.

The Wagnerites removed his tourniquets and replaced them with rough rubber tubes, tying them in tight knots that could not be undone. Later, Mykhalchuk was taken to another location, where he was placed in a dark, poorly ventilated basement.

Mykhalchuk believes his left arm could have been saved, but the rubber tubes caused necrosis and blackened it. The Wagnerites said they would provide medical care only after interrogations which lasted for many hours. The Ukrainian defender was sedated after the interrogation, and when he regained consciousness, both arms were amputated. At the same time, the stumps had not been stitched up but simply bandaged.

Mykhalchuk says he lost consciousness several times during the hours-long interrogations and was injected with an unknown substance that brought him back to his senses. Illia suggests his value to the Wagner PMC was simply to be subjected to psychological torture. Following his amputation, he was asked if he liked fishing and told that he would never be able to fight again.

Mykhalchuk sought help from other prisoners of war to get through his imprisonment. They bathed and fed him, kept watch and talked to him when the pain was too severe to sleep.

Mykhalchuk was brought back in a prisoners-of-war exchange on 15 April. Illia is currently undergoing treatment in the United States, where he has been fitted with bionic prosthetic arms worth US$200,000.

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