Shaun Pinner was one of five British nationals released by Russia last Wednesday.
They were among a group of 10 foreigners whose release had been secured in part by Saudi Arabia. Now, back in the UK, the Mr Pinner told ITV's Good Morning Britain about his treatment at the hands of Russian-backed guards.
"We developed a comedic rapport with some of the guards," he said.
"It was a strange feeling because we were told we were the enemy, but sometimes we would actually have some dialogue with them," he said.
On one occasion, the guards asked Mr Pinner what football team he supported.
Before he could finish saying "West Ham", they buzzed him with a cattle prod.
Mr Pinner then quickly switched his allegiance to the local Ukrainian football team.
"I said 'Shakhtar Donetsk, Shakhtar Donetsk!' and they were laughing," he said.
Shaun Pinner tells GMB of being stunned with a cattle prod after revealing his supported West Ham
Mr Pinner had been in Ukraine's Donbas region prior to Russia's invasion. He had been fighting against pro-Russian rebels with the Ukrainian Army.
He was captured in May, and would have resigned himself to being killed, if it weren't for a phone call with his Ukrainian wife, he told GMB.
"She said.. 'what you're doing is amazing, you're warriors' and then she said 'just survive' on the phone. She screamed at me," Mr Pinner recounted.
"It kept us going all the way through."
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Likewise, fellow prisoner of war Aiden Aslin told GMB that his fiancé gave him hope throughout the "psychological torment" he endured.
"I had told myself that no matter what happens, I will see my fiancé again. I remember when I was being beaten, I thought I have to get through this because I will see Diane," Mr Aslin said.
He said one of his tormentors asked him if he would prefer a "quick" death or a "beautiful" one.
"When he turned around and said that to me, my thoughts started to dawn on me after he pointed out he had stabbed me. I was completely unaware of being stabbed," he said.