Ukrainian prisoner describes ‘torture facility’ used by Russian interrogators – National

BALAKLIYA, UKRAINE — On August 3, Russian soldiers arrived at the fire station in Oleksander Loboda, put a bag over his head and handcuffed him and three of his colleagues.

“They told us to forget that we have life, that we no longer exist, that our life is over,” said the recently wrested Russian ruler. A resident of Balacriya, one of the towns in the region, said:

Loboda said during three interrogations he was beaten with plastic batons and electrocuted after being accused by the occupiers of passing information to Ukrainian forces.

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The three-story police building in the center of Balakliya was the site of one of more than 20 torture facilities identified since Russian forces were driven out of the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine.

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The Russian military used the site to house police and those believed to have ties to the military, said Dmitro Shevchuk, deputy director of the Criminal Investigation Service committed in the armed conflict.

“They are civilians, just peaceful citizens living in the city,” Shevchuk said. He said he was shocked by the treatment of detainees and found it difficult to put into words.

Ukrainian authorities say they have found torture camps throughout the occupied territories, including cities such as Balakliya, Izyum and Kupiansk, and villages such as Kozacha Lopan, Okhiltsi and Liptsy.

It remains unknown how many people are being held in the terrifying prison in the Kharkiv region, but investigators are interviewing victims as the Ukrainian attack becomes possible.

Their testimonies of abuse are the latest evidence that President Vladimir Putin’s forces have routinely tortured them as part of their attempts to seize neighboring Ukraine.

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Located between Kharkiv and Izyum and with a population of about 26,000 that survived the Nazi and current Russian occupation, Balakriya was interrogated in two rooms on the ground floor.

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“They asked me about my health and touched my knees and shoulders with stun guns three or four times,” recalls Oleksiy Yakovlyev, who was also detained in the torture center.

“And suggested I talk to them.”

Yakovriev said the Russians picked him up for having a Ukrainian flag on his property. Oddly enough, some of the Russian interrogators wore brown hockey his masks.

About 40 people were in prison at any one time, he added. Their families brought them clothing, medicine, and cigarettes. Some were released after questioning and replaced by others.

Soldiers from the Luhansk People’s Republic, a pro-Russian territory of Ukraine seized by the Russian government in 2014, tended to the prisoners. One of the guards was later found dead.

“They asked me why I became a soldier.

“And when they didn’t like my reply, I said, ‘Let’s call Vladimir Putin and start spinning the dynamo,'” Arseluk said.

Alseriuk said the Dynamo was a military phone used by the Russians during torture sessions. Electrical cables were connected to the detainee’s feet or hands. The faster you turn the phone dial, the greater the electric shock.

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In an interview, Loboda said the Russians accused the Ukrainian military of providing information that would allow artillery gunners to precisely coordinate their fire.

The invaders also charged him with collecting the names of locals who had supported the Russians and handing over the list to the Ukrainian military.

Most of those detained with him were relatives of members of the Ukrainian military and police, past or current police officers and local government representatives.

“The man who was with us, he had previously represented a political party. They accused him of being a nationalist. And they beat him very hard. I beat him outside, but in our ward it happened twice,” he said.

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Loboda said it was held in a 3-meter by 1.5-meter room on the ground floor with six to seven other people. I had a hard time walking to

The woman, he said, was kept in a slightly better room with a toilet. But Loboda said the cell had only one bed, no windows, no sink, no toilet.

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Every morning, the soldiers had to put sugar sacks over the prisoners’ heads and march them out of their cells in a line, leaving their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.

Once at the wall, we were allowed to remove the bag to allow urination and defecation. The procedure was repeated nightly at 7 p.m., Oleksandr said.

“We had two meals a day, 9 am and 9 pm. Usually it was millet porridge or unsalted rice,” he said. But the food was bad, he said, adding that his mother made better meals for the pigs.

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Loboda said no bread, tea or juice was provided. Water was collected in bottles from another ward with a sink. Occasionally prisoners received scraps from Russian soldiers.

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The Russians also gave them a copy of their newspaper called Kharkov Z, after the logo of the invasion of Moscow. Prisoners used it to clean dishes and as toilet paper.

Loboda was detained for 13 days, handcuffed and told he would be exiled for life from Russian-controlled territory for “resisting”.

However, others remained trapped until Ukrainian troops arrived in Balakriya on 8 September.

After the town was recaptured by Ukraine, Loboda and his colleagues first returned to Balakriya. They help dismantle war-damaged buildings and, in the process, try to erase what they experienced during their time in Russian custody.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ukrainian prisoner describes ‘torture facility’ used by Russian interrogators – National

Source link Ukrainian prisoner describes ‘torture facility’ used by Russian interrogators – National

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