Sergei is a former Russian soldier. In the summer of this year, he came to military training at the Prudboj training ground in the Volgograd region. In an interview with the independent website Vazhnye Istorii, he said that there were “torture pits” where soldiers who broke discipline were imprisoned.
Sergei (his name has been changed) told in a conversation with a registered user Latvia portal Vazhnye Istoria that several of his colleagues were sent to “torture pits” because they were caught drinking alcohol. Previously, they were beaten by the military police. You could end up in the “pits” for a day, a few days or a week.
As Sergei reported, those who went there were given food once a day, and they were not provided with medical assistance, even though they needed it. – Those who returned from there were afraid of everything – he said. He also said that one of his colleagues died after being in the “pit”, but independent journalists were unable to confirm this information in other sources.
Holes in the ground near the tent camp
Sergei claimed to have seen with his own eyes two “torture pits” at the Prudboy training ground, considered one of the best in Russia. “The words of our interlocutor are confirmed by a satellite photo taken at the beginning of August 2023. It shows two deep holes in the ground near the tent camp, in the same place that Sergei indicated, and the paths leading to them from the passage in the camp fence. In another photo, from April 2023, there is no such thing,” writes the Vazhnye Istorii portal.
An interlocutor from the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) investigative project, previously associated with the Russian army, told the portal that the appearance and location of the “pits” in satellite photos confirm Sergei’s words. – It cannot be said that these pits were created for economic or training purposes – he believes. In his opinion, if these were, for example, garbage pits, they would not be located so close to the camp.
According to the CIT interlocutor, the pits do not look like a place for training. – If it were so, there would be a square where soldiers would line up before exercises. If there was an entrance to these pits, we would see steps cut out. It wouldn’t be a hole in the ground, he continued.
At the Tocka training ground
Another interlocutor of the Vazhnye Istorii portal – Viktor, who escaped from the Russian army – was training at the Totsky training ground in the Orenburg region. Around this time, the former president and prime minister visited the site Dmitry Medvedevcurrently deputy head of the Security Council.
Wiktor (name also changed) told journalists that at the training ground, soldiers who broke discipline were beaten and handcuffed, and those who “made the most trouble” were threatened with being sent to “pits”.
Vazhnye Istorii reported that satellite photos of the Tocki training ground, taken in August this year, show two pits near the field camp where the soldiers lived. There was a ditch dug next to one of them. The Conflict Intelligence Team analyst admitted that in this case he had doubts whether these were indeed “torture pits”.
Wiktor recalled that in the summer of that year, a new 25th army was being created at the Tocki training ground, which consisted mainly of contract soldiers. They were trained before being sent to the front in Ukraine. Most of the prisoners sent there were former prisoners convicted of murder or rape of minors.
– During my many years of service in the army, I have never seen such a contingent, completely uncontrolled, establishing its own laws – said Wiktor. He claims that he heard several threats against discipline breakers that they would be sent to the “pit”.
Dmitry Medvedev “didn’t notice” them
Vazhnye Istoria write that Dmitry Medvedev “did not notice” any “pits” or drunken soldiers at the Totsky training ground during Viktor’s training. Medvedev was to inspect here the process of preparing soldiers for combat in Ukraine and report to the president. Vladimir Putin.
The independent portal recalled that the practice of detention in “pits” existed before the start of the armed invasion in Ukraine in the so-called republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Ukrainian Donbass. “Doły” were also created in the territories occupied by Russian troops in Ukraine, where mobilized soldiers were sent.
Main photo source: mil.ru