June 22, 2023, 13:56

 Prisoners beaten, set dogs on, denied medical treatment, and fed with undercooked food – the MIHR told about the conditions of detention of Ukrainian POWs in Russia

Having analyzed the collected evidence, the MIHR determined the systematic nature of the policies and methods of treatment toward Ukrainian prisoners used by Russia. It’s a common issue in all places of detention. In particular, these include inadequate conditions of confinement, physical and mental torture, poor nutrition and low quality, and sometimes total lack of medical care.

According to investigative journalist at the MIHR Maria Klymyk’s report during the discussion at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform, both men and women in detention centers in Russia are subjected to tours.

“There is a clear pattern that it doesn’t matter whether the place is close to the border with Ukraine or somewhere inland. The conditions are the same everywhere. That is, it is the same “trick”, the fact of the beating of prisoners being brought to any place of detention. As many of those now released from captivity say, this is their so-called acquaintance and registration in the place where they will stay for a long time,” emphasized Maria Klymyk.

According to her, many soldiers say that additional beds have been added to their jail cells, reflecting a lack of space for the number of prisoners.

“Since, obviously, the Russians did not expect such a large number of prisoners to come, and the cells that were designed for 2 or 4 people were too small to accommodate 8-10 inmates. That’s why the beds were added,” she explained.

In addition, Maria Klymyk emphasized that those released from captivity pointed out the lack of food and normal nutrition.

“Prisoners claim they were served some kind of undercooked food, which tasted indescribably bland and insipid. There was no meat, no fruit or vegetables. And the only thing that always saved them was bread. They were given bread in sufficient quantities, and they could survive on that,” she said.

The investigative journalist also reported the fact that every time prisoners left their cells, they were more likely to be beaten. Exits for walks were also accompanied by beatings, and in some places, siccing dogs while prisoners were taking a walk.

“That is, for them, any exit from the cell was what they feared the most. Because either you were taken for interrogation, where the abuse continued, or the cell was inspected while you were pressed against the wall and were also beaten. Or you were taken for a walk, where you were beaten again. Or, as was the case in the Voronezh region, dogs were incited to attack, tearing the shirt you were wearing apart,” the journalist said.

At the same time, she noted that in some places of detention, denial of access to daily walks in the fresh air, meaning that POWs could stay in a cell for six months seeing no sunlight, and losing track of time. 

According to the available data, according to Maria Klymyk, there is no proper medical care in the places of detention. In addition, there were cases when doctors raised their hands to the prisoners, resorting to force beating while examining. 

“There is also a total lack of medicine. That is, even if a person urgently needed a doctor, the call for a doctor was delayed, or the doctor refused to help. Also, Validol pills contain Menthyl isovalerate, which is primarily prescribed for treating anxiety disorders that is used as a remedy for all diseases. There was also evidence that the medics themselves were the ones to abuse the prisoners physically. Medical staff were treating POWs, but at the same time, it didn’t stop them from stabbing in the back several times or just psychologically abusing their patients,” she added.

In turn, Iryna Latysh, a relative of a prisoner of war who was present during the discussion, said that in some places of detention, prisoners had to stand all day and were not even allowed to walk.

“From waking up to bedtime, they were not allowed to lie down or take a seat on the bed. Until a certain time, they were not allowed to sit down at all. Inmates had just to stand. They could not even walk as it would immediately be followed by severe punishment. They found certain opportunities while being unseen from a certain angle so that they could go around someone, and one person could, for example, sit for a certain time. Now they are at least allowed to sit on the benches near the table,” she said.

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news