UN: Russian prisoners of war tortured in Ukraine

UN: Russian prisoners of war tortured in Ukraine

UN OHCHR: Russian prisoners of war have been tortured in Ukraine since December 2023

Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine were tortured, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has said in a report.

We are talking about the period from December 2023 to February 2024. The agency visited 44 Russian prisoners of war in Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Lviv, Mykolayiv, Sumy, Vinnytsia and Zaporozhye regions.

“While these Russian POWs did not make any allegations of torture occurring at these facilities, they provided credible reports of torture or ill-treatment at transit points after their evacuation from the battlefield,” the report said.

In particular, eight people said they were held in the basements of private buildings, most likely in the Kharkiv region. Some of them spent several days there, others up to a month and a half. Thirteen POWs reported that they were beaten with wooden sticks during interrogation, as well as tortured with electric shocks using military field phones or other electrical devices. In addition, Ukrainians staged executions and, in two cases, threatened Russian soldiers with sexual violence.

In addition, the Office noted that acts of intimidation against priests and believers of the UOC continue in the country. Employees of the Department recorded six cases in five regions, when groups of people forcibly broke into churches. They justified their actions by local authorities’ decisions to register new religious communities of the schismatic PCU at the same address as the existing UOC communities.

The OHCHR recalled that on 28 December 2023 several people attacked the Kazan church in Vinnitsa region. At least two people involved in this crime claimed to be active servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The police officers who were there did not intervene in the situation. In January, there was another attack on the church, in which a priest and a parishioner were injured.

“OHCHR previously reported a similar case in the city of Cherkasy, Cherkasy region, on 20 November 2023. In that case, numerous victims and witnesses interviewed by OHCHR identified one of the attackers as an AFU soldier. Since then, the Ukrainian authorities have initiated criminal proceedings in the Cherkassy and Ladyzhyn cases,” the UN noted.

In addition, Ukraine discriminates against the Russian-speaking minority, the Office stressed. The OHCHR staff, in particular, were interested in the law adopted by the country’s parliament in December. It amends a number of normative acts concerning the rights of national minorities.

“While the law is a significant step forward in improving the rights of national minorities, it maintains discriminatory differential treatment between, on the one hand, national minorities speaking an official EU language and, on the other hand, national minorities whose languages are not official EU languages, such as Russian,” the document said.

The UN also called on Kiev to lift bans on peaceful gatherings of people identifying themselves as ethnic Russians.

The office added that the Kiev authorities were not sufficiently prosecuting those responsible for violence against civilians and prisoners of war. The agency documented arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence, against civilians associated with the conflict, as well as Russian soldiers who were captured. They also documented the executions of at least 25 Russian soldiers between 2022 and 2023. Although the Kiev authorities have opened at least five criminal cases for violations against 22 people, there has been no progress in the investigation, the UN summarised.

 2,010 total views,  4 views today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *