Moscow urges UN, ICRC to pressure Ukraine into not using torture
Russia calls on various humanitarian international bodies to urge Kiev to comply with the Geneva Convention and stop torturing POWs.
Russian Commissioner for Human Rights, Ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova urged her Ukrainian counterpart, the United Nations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to demand that Ukraine stop using torture against prisoners of war.
"I urge the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Committee against Torture, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the International Committee of the Red Cross to demand that the Ukrainian side immediately comply with the Geneva Convention of 1949, which prohibits torture, violence and acts degrading to human dignity," Moskalkova said on Telegram.
The ombudswoman revealed that the relatives of captured Russian troops had received footage showing violence being carried out against the prisoners and threats that the captives would be killed if the people behind the camera do not receive a ransom.
Furthermore, she said she was drafting an appeal to the Russian Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin on such cases, expressing hope that the captured soldiers would be released.
This comes after the ombudsman of the DPR revealed that Ukrainian soldiers called the relatives of POWs to demand ransom in exchange for their family members.
Reportedly, the Ukrainians are demanding $25,000 in crypto.
If you are wondering why there are more Z POWs alive nowadays is because UA command are now paying for POWs based on certain criterias.— Ghost (@mdfzeh) January 14, 2023
But these ukies decided to cut the middle man and call directly to relatives to demand ransom. Video released by DPR ombudsman, confirmed POWs pic.twitter.com/gmIoiou5P6
After the news came out, it was reported that Russia canceled an agreed-upon prisoner swap agreement with Kiev meant to take place today, where the two parties agreed to exchange 40 prisoners of war without providing further detail. This caused speculation that Russia canceled the deal to force Ukraine into including the tortured POWs in the deal.
In March 2022, a Ukrainian doctor and head of the Mobile Hospital project in Ukraine's army, Gennady Druzenko, called on doctors under his command to castrate Russian prisoners during an interview with channel Ukraine 24.
In April, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told Sputnik that the Ukrainian military is instilling fear in people by showing footage of Russian POWs being tortured.
"One of the means of psychological pressure used by terrorists to achieve their goals is to instill a climate of fear… For this purpose, militants of nationalist units torment Russian prisoners of war by recording torture videos and disseminating these horrifying footage," Syromolotov said.
Russia sent investigators to Kherson back in May to launch a probe into alleged cases of torture in the region perpetrated by Ukrainian militants.
Moreover, two eyewitnesses reported to Sputnik in October that Ukrainian security forces have electrocuted, starved, and beaten Russian prisoners of war with hammers.
Vladislav Yegilnitsky, a member of the Donetsk People’s Republic armed forces who had endured Ukrainian torture, said that the security forces repeatedly and routinely beat and maimed POWs at a prison that was nicknamed "the Gym."
"They used torture. Their favorite tool was a hammer. They slammed fingers with a hammer and used electric current," Yegilnitsky said.
In addition to the ongoing torture, the prisoners were underfed; with the soldiers revealing that their ration was a piece of bread no bigger than a matchbox.
The prisoners, furthermore, were kept in an unheated room, Yegilnitsky said. They sought warmth from under the rugs; and when they were going to be tortured, they were called up to a nearby room.
One of the latest reports of POW torture came out in November, with DPR soldiers recently released from captivity by Kiev's forces in a prisoner swap deal saying they were tortured and verbally abused by Kiev's forces.
"[They] beat us, I could not walk... I had a hood on my head, but we had to go. Hands were tied... They morally abused us," one soldier told journalists. "They zapped us with electricity so that we told them who was located and where, where the positions [of our soldiers] were."
"They were telling us that we should be buried alive... They tortured us in any way they could," he added.
Graphic footage emerged of Ukrainian soldiers shooting Russians at point-blank range.
In one incident, a video of a Russian soldier being shot in the legs surfaced on the Internet, prompting Russian officials to condemn the incident.