On February 24, 2022, when Russian forces invaded Ukraine, they quickly targeted several key cities. One of those was the industrial hub of Mariupol. The city’s defenders put up a strong fight, with some three to four thousand Ukrainians holding out against over twenty thousand Russian soldiers for three months, preventing them from taking the city and moving on to other parts of Ukraine. But the military defenders of Mariupol were told to surrender to the Russian authorities on May 20. While thousands were taken into captivity, many whom are still being held as prisoners of wars, at least one civilian fighter, a man named Gennadiy, survived and remained in the city. 

In this episode of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project Podcast, John Spencer tells the story of the man who fought the Russian invaders at the Battle of Mariupol, was captured and tortured, resisted, escaped, and survived in the rubble of the city for nine months, before he was rescued in an operation by Ukrainian special operations forces.

You can listen to the full episode below or find it on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyTuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. Be sure to subscribe, and if you’re enjoying the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, please take a minute and leave the podcast a review or give it a rating!

Note: This story was originally published as an article, “Nine Months of Hell in Mariupol: How This Real-Life Rambo Survived, Resisted, and Escaped Captivity.”

Image credit: Mvs.gov.ua