He flew in a private jet
Abramovich rescues five Britons from Russian custody
One day in brutal captivity, the next in a luxury private jet: five Britons who fought alongside the Ukrainians are freed. Multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich came to the rescue.
Multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich.
“He’s a legend.” This is how British soldier John Harding (59) describes oligarch and former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (55). Reason: Oligarch was instrumental in freeing from Russian captivity. Abramovich brought him and four other British soldiers from Russia on his private jet.
Five Britons fought alongside Ukrainian troops and were captured by Vladimir Putin’s (69) army. Harding was forced to surrender in the battle for the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Britt told The Sun he had to stay on a bus for three days after being caught. There he was fed only pastries and dirty water.
Tortured by Putin’s tormentors
Harding has served three prison terms since May. He tells of brutal torture. He was frequently beaten by the guards. The constant torture left its mark: bruises, broken ribs and blood in the urine. At one point, Harding says, he wished he’d been killed instead of such torture.
According to Harding, the guards tried to psychologically abuse the British prisoners. For example, they are said to have laughed and told us that the queen was dead: “They took great satisfaction in telling us of the queen’s death. We only said, ‘Long live the king.’
From prison to luxury jet
On Tuesday it was time for Harding and the four British prisoners: the day of redemption came. They were allowed to pack up and were released at a Russian airport after a 20-hour journey. There they were welcomed by Saudi Arabian officials.
According to “The Sun”, Kremlin leader Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (37) have concluded a deal for the British’s release. In return, high-ranking Russian officials were reportedly freed. They were recently caught in a Ukrainian counterattack.
Multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich played a key role in these negotiations. The five Britons were then flown to Saudi Arabia on a luxury private jet. “We were treated like royalty,” Harding said.
Casual chat with oligarch
Harding says the five Britons didn’t realize at first that Abramovich was their host. One of his mates went up to Abramovich and said he looked like the former Chelsea owner. “That’s me, sir,” Abramovich said, according to Harding. The team couldn’t believe it.
After months of brutal torture, they sat at the table with Abramovich, eating steaks and tiramisu and chatting about football. Harding told The Sun: “We love him more than anything and are incredibly grateful for his efforts.” (pop)
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”