Russians systematically tortured the Ukrainian prisoners of war 

Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denysova claimed that the Russian occupiers systematically tortured the Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Russia continues to violate the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, said Ombudsman Liudmyla Denysova.

During a monitoring visit to the health facility, Ukrainian servicemen released from captivity reported torture and ill-treatment by the occupiers.

Most Ukrainian servicemen were taken prisoners near Mariupol. At first, they were kept in basements and outbuildings. Then they were transferred to the guardhouse, the pre-trial detention center in Donetsk, and the 120th correctional colony, which are located in the temporarily occupied territory. Later, our troops were transferred to the Taganrog and Voronezh pre-trial detention centers.

Ukrainian soldiers had their eyes sealed with tape, heads covered by bags, and hands tied with ropes during the transfer.

Ukrainian servicemen were tortured in captivity – threatened with murder, beaten, and humiliated.

Officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and members of the Azov Regiment were treated with extreme cruelty. During interrogations, Ukrainian prisoners of war were forced to their knees; their toes and open wounds were hit with rifle butts; they were tortured with pliers; had a noose around their necks, and were being choked. In addition, they were electrocuted, beaten by nightsticks, and kicked.

Ukrainian servicemen reported that they were injected with unknown drugs starting with “M”, which caused them to pass out and suffer memory loss.

The occupiers forced Ukrainian soldiers to learn the poem “Forgive us, dear Russians”, the anthem of the Russian Federation, and the history of the creation of the emblem and flag of the Russian Federation. Otherwise, they suffered further torture.

Ukrainian female prisoners of war held in the Donetsk pre-trial detention center reported there were at least 17-20 of them in the cells intended to house 2-3 people. A bucket served as a toilet. Women had no access to items of personal hygiene or showers. They were subjected to psychological pressure – captive Ukrainian men were brutally beaten in front of them. Captive women were also forced to have sex.

The captives had no access to critical medical care. The doctor examined them only once before they were transferred to the POW camp in Sevastopol, where ICRC representatives helped.

Ukrainians were given only 1.5 liters of water for 30-40 people. The food was limited; in Russia occupied Donbas Pow’s daily rations consisted of a slice of bread with lard. Sometimes giving the prisoners meat, Russians joked it was human.

Ukrainian servicemen were not allowed to contact their relatives. The identity cards with which the status and identity of persons who have fallen into the hands of the adverse party can be determined (according to Article 70 of the 1949 Geneva Convention), which must be sent immediately after capture, were filled in only before the exchange.

These criminal acts violated the rights of prisoners of war, guaranteed by the provisions of Articles 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24-27, 29-31, 46, 48, 69-71 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

“I appeal to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights to consider these facts of violations of the rights of Ukrainian citizens” – Denisova said.


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