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War in Ukraine. Human rights ombudsman: We have dozens of recordings of Russians mutilating our prisoners

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Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we have received dozens of recordings showing the brutal murders and maiming of our prisoners by Russian soldiers, Ukrainian human rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said on Monday. He reported that 86 percent of Ukrainian POWs who returned from Russian captivity confirmed that they had been subjected to direct physical violence there.

– The video material released a few days ago, showing how the Russians behead a defenseless Ukrainian prisoner, is unfortunately not the only such story. We have dozens of recordings showing decapitation, as well as cutting off limbs, genitals, nose, ears or finger bones. These are content recorded and shared online by the Russian military, Łubinets reported during a broadcast on the Ukrainska Pravda portal.

In the opinion of the spokesman, the enemy military who commit these crimes and publicize them have four goals: – to maintain the “anti-Ukrainian hysteria” prevailing in Russian society by showing Ukrainians as “subhuman” and thus incite even greater hatred against them, – to warn Ukrainians against the planned counter-offensive and the consequences of being taken prisoner by the Russians, – motivating their own soldiers to fight in fear of the enemy’s retaliation, – preventing the perpetrators of the crime from possible desertion as a result of disclosing gruesome recordings, “closing their way of retreat”.

86 percent of Ukrainian POWs who returned from Russian captivity confirmed that they were subjected to direct physical violence there. These are not only our data, because similar conclusions were presented by the UN mission – Łubinec added during the same conversation.

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SBU investigation after the publication of a drastic video

It appeared on the internet last week a drastic video recording showing the torture of a Ukrainian prisoner of war. It shows how people in uniforms with white ribbons, which Russian soldiers usually use for identification, cut off the head of a living man with Ukrainian insignia. The Security Service of Ukraine has launched an investigation into the matter.

Reports of the brutal treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war, as well as war crimes against them, have been appearing since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In recent months, numerous reports have been published in the media according to which the Russians abuse Ukrainian soldiers and civilians physically and psychologically, e.g. keeping them in very poor sanitary conditions, giving prisoners of war very limited food rations, and forcing them to memorize the Russian anthem and Russian propaganda songs.

Main photo source: PAP/Vladyslav Karpovych

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