Ukrainian POWs were held in a hole, terrorized, and starved by Russians, says ombudsman

4 April, 08:37 PM
Ukrainian pows recently released from Russian captivity meet Ukraine's Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk (Photo:Iryna Vereshchuk)

Ukrainian pows recently released from Russian captivity meet Ukraine's Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk (Photo:Iryna Vereshchuk)

Russian invaders flagrantly breach the Geneva convention on treatment of prisoners of war, Ukraine, Ombudswoman for Human Rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, said in a Facebook post on April 4.

Ukrainian soldiers that returned home after prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine, tell of how they were treated by the Russian army: they were kept in garages, in holes in the ground, beaten with rifle butts, and had shots fired right next to their ears.

“(Our) guys from the Zmiinyi Island were transported to Sevastopol (in Crimea) by tugboat, and were used by local reporters to spin propaganda about the humane treatment of them by the Russian government that took them home,” Denisova said.

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“Instead, they were taken to an unknown location and kept in tents in -20C weather, leading to many of our boys getting frostbite.”

“They were treated as prisoners, endure psychological pressure, and had dogs set loose on them during their walks in the courtyard.”

Denisova added that, according to the Geneva convention, POWs are ought to be free from violence and scare tactics, and shielded from insults and public attention. In a breach of Article 26 of the convention, Russians were also starving Ukrainian POWs – for several days, at times.

The ombudsman called on the UN and OSCE to thoroughly investigate and record all these violations of how Ukrainian captives should have been treated by the Kremlin.

On April 1, Ukraine and Russia exchanged 86 prisoners of war, each. Among the Ukrainians that returned home, there were 15 women.

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