Andrei Marusov shared his harrowing journey from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Thursday’s Anderson Cooper 360. Marusov fled after intense bombing and military invasion have made the city inhospitable to Ukrainians.
While taking photos of the damage Russia has done to his home town, Marusov claims he was detained for several hours and that the Russian soldiers didn’t want to deal with a prisoner.
“It has been a late night and that guy told him, ‘OK, shoot him. You already shot two guys, two civilians today. Then, OK, do it,’” Marusov recalled. “First I thought that it’s just a joke. I mean, black humor or something like that.”
While civilian casualties are still unknown, there have been many reports that the Russian military is targeting civilians, and Marusov recalled thinking he might become a casualty as Russian soldiers argued about what to do with him.
“I don’t know what happened,” Marusoiv said. “They talked for several minutes and Kalashnikov was in my chest and I thought better the chest and the stomach.”
“The Kalashnikov was actually pointing at your chest?” Cooper asked.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Marusov confirmed.
Fortunately, Marusov was released and made it to western Ukraine where his family had already fled. He was reunited with wife and son.
Anderson Cooper 360 airs weeknights at 8 pm on CNN.
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