Ukraine: Former mayor of Kherson speaks on Russian TV
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Kherson suffered heavy fighting in the early days of the invasion in February and since March 2 has been under Russian control. However, locals have staged protests against the Russian occupation with Moscow’s troops responding by using tear gas and stun grenades.
Tamila Tacheva, the Ukraine presidency’s permanent representative in the Crimea, the peninsula to the south of Kherson which Moscow annexed in 2014, shared the horrific news.
She said: “According to our information, some 600 people are… being held in specially converted basements in the region of Kherson.”
Ms Tacheva said that Russian invaders have confined these prisoners within “specially equipped rooms, in torture chambers”, according to Ukrainian national news agency Ukrinform.
Ms Tacheva added that the bulk of those being held in “inhuman conditions” were “journalists and militants” who organised “pro-Ukrainian gatherings” in Kherson following its occupation by Russian forces.
It comes as the separatist Pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic said they are opening a trial against two Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner.
The pair were captured fighting alongside Ukrainian troops in the southern port city of Mariupol.
Both men who were serving in the Ukrainian military were seen with Ibrahim Saadun from Morocco sitting in a courtroom cage reserved for defendants on Russian social media.
Prosecutors have said that the men potentially face the death penalty for “terrorism” and for fighting as “mercenaries” against Russian forces.
They have argued that they were regular soldiers fighting in the Ukrainian military and therefore should be treated as prisoners of war.
Speaking through an interpreter both Mr Pinner and Mr Aslin said they understood the charges against them.
It has raised fears that they could be the first Ukrainian soldiers to be tried by pro-Russian forces.
Observers are concerned that this could be the first of many trials seeking to justify the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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Russian officials have claimed that they intend to hold “Nuremberg 2.0” trials meant to mirror war crimes trials being held in Kyiv for Russian soldiers accused of atrocities.
They could also be designed to put pressure on the West and encourage Ukraine to participate in prisoner exchanges.
In a statement, Mr Aslin’s family asked for privacy from the media.
They said: “This is a very sensitive and emotional time for our family, and we would like to say thank you to all that have supported us.
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