STORY: Footage shared with Reuters purports to show the moment an American hostage who claims he was beaten by Russians in Ukraine reunited with his wife and mother-in-law, who transfer suitcases to another car and speed toward Poland.
"Well, I was initially arrested in my home. They came and they took me out, cuffed me, you know, beat me, threw me on the ground, took me to a cell, interrogated me, then furthermore beat me. Then performed a mock execution and beat me some more, threw me in a cell, beat me some more, took my documents."
Kirillo Alexandrov of Michigan said he was freed by a private group called Project Dynamo after his capture while trying to flee the Ukrainian city of Kherson.
Dynamo co-founder Bryan Stern said Alexandrov was arrested on suspicion of spying for the U.S.
"Kirillo was charged with 11 felonies of national security. There were 11 of them all centred around spying for the U.S. government, an unregistered foreign agent, that kind of thing. So it was all espionage, spy stuff, that are completely false to be clear."
Reuters was unable to independently verify Alexandrov’s account of arrest or abuse.
"The things my family went through were nothing short of war crimes”
The Russian defense and foreign ministries did not respond to emailed requests for comment.
Russia has previously denied targeting civilians and has rejected allegations of war crimes.
Project Dynamo, established by a group of U.S. military veterans, made headlines in September 2021 when it arranged for the chartered evacuation of more than 100 Americans flown from Afghanistan to the United States via the United Arab Emirates.