A HEROIC Ukrainian mum imprisoned and tortured by Russian soldiers for three months has spoken of her terrifying ordeal.
Yulia Paievska, 53, was thrown into solitary confinement, beaten, kicked, starved and threatened with execution by her merciless invading captors.
Vladimir Putin’s thugs also forced the frontline volunteer medic to admit to horrific crimes after taking her into custody at a checkpoint in mid—March.
She said: “They tortured me. I had broken bones, concussion, dizziness and nausea.
“They threatened to shoot me too.
“I asked them to kill me as soon as possible so I didn’t have to see their faces any more.”
Yulia has since recovered from her injuries, mental strife and severe weight loss.
Later this month, she will represent Ukraine in the US at the Warrior Games, a multi-sport event for wounded, injured or ill service personnel and veterans.
She was already a hero in Ukraine as part of an all-women volunteer medic group bringing wounded fighters back to safety from the front lines of annexed Crimea since Russia’s 2014 invasion.
She joined the Ukrainian forces in 2018 and was made the evacuation captain, directing casualties to the right place in military hospitals and caring for the wounded.
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When Russia bombed her hospital on March 15, Yulia loaded 20 women and children on to a bus to take them to hoped-for safety.
They drove from Mariupol through the “green corridor” to Zaporizhzhia where they were stopped and she was taken to a jail in Russian- occupied Donetsk.
She said: “I don’t know what happened to the others on the bus. I hope they’re safe.
“They forced me to confess to crimes I didn’t do, for example that I killed the mother and father of the parentless kids on the bus, and that I harvested organs from soldiers.”
Yulia was freed on June 17 after a campaign by daughter Anna, who went to the European Parliament and spoke to Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Holland in April.
She said: “It’s a miracle.
“They didn’t want me to be free, they wanted to execute me. They told me that.
“My daughter and my people from Ukraine raised my case and I owe them everything for that.”
Yulia, who took part last month in a link-up between TalkTV and stations worldwide to mark 150 days since of Russia’s invasion, said Harry called her a week after she was let out.
She said: “He simply inspired me to continue to fight.
“He said that he supports Ukraine and all of us.”