Russians 'raped prisoners and electrocuted their genitals' in torture chambers

Rape, suffocation, waterboarding and severe beatings were just some of the methods used by Russian soldiers on people detained in southern Ukraine, a legal team has revealed today.

Nearly half of those kept in the now notorious ‘torture chambers’ in the port city of Kherson underwent such abuse, law firm Global Rights Compliance said.

Evidence collected from the more than 35 dungeons laid bare the horrific sexual crimes committed by troops.

Genital electrocutions and rape with a foreign object covered in a condom were amongst their tactics.

Anna Mykytenko, a senior legal adviser at the firm, told this evidence reveals a ‘systematic plan to not only degrade and humiliate prisoners but also to eradicate Ukrainian identity’.

‘Sexual violence has been – and continues to be – used against Ukrainian people from all sections of society,’ she stressed.

‘This and other crimes indicate a total disregard for international law by Russian forces operating on Ukrainian soil.

‘There is no doubt that survivors of these atrocities will bear the long term mental scars following their experiences in the detention centres.’

Finding justice for survivors may be difficult, but she added that the identification of perpetrators is ‘well underway’.

‘What we are witnessing in Kherson is just the tip of the iceberg in Putin’s barbaric plan to obliterate an entire population,’ Ms Mykytenko said.

‘Justice will be served for Ukrainians as we continue our mission to identify and hold perpetrators accountable. Impunity is not an option.’

Formed of prosecutors, lawyers and analysts, the Mobile Justice Team was set up by the Global Rights Compliance in April 2022 to investigate and prosecute war crimes in Ukraine.

Since the liberation of the large part of the Kherson Oblast in October, they have been working on some 320 cases of detention.

Of those victims, at least 43% cited sexual violence as a common tactic used on them by Russian guards.

Some 36 people said their genitals were electrocuted during their interrogations, while others were threatened with genital mutilation.

It was previously revealed detainees were forced to learn and recite pro-Russian slogans, poems and songs.

Pictures shared in November last year showed wall markings with tallies showing Ukrainians counting the number of days they were held captive.

Both male and female members of the military, volunteers, activists, community leaders, police, medical workers, and teachers were locked up in the centres.

According to the preliminary analysis by the specialist unit, Ukrainian troops were most likely to be tortured.

Wayne Jordash KC, co-founder of Global Rights Compliance said: ‘The torture and sexual violence tactics suggests that Putin’s plan to extinguish Ukrainian identity includes a range of crimes evocative of genocide.

‘At the very least, the pattern that we are observing is consistent with a cynical and calculated plan to humiliate and terrorise millions of Ukrainian citizens in order to subjugate them to the diktat of the Kremlin.’

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