KOZACHA LOPAN, Ukraine (AP) — In a dank basement behind the local supermarket, metal bars cordon off a corner of the room to form a large cell. Dirty sleeping bags and duvets show three sleeping spots on top of sheets of Styrofoam for insulation from the damp earth floor. In the corner, two black buckets served as toilets.

A few meters (yards) outside the barred cell, three dilapidated chairs stand around a table, cigarette butts and empty husks of pumpkin seeds littering the floor around them.

Ukrainian authorities say this was a makeshift prison where Russian forces abused detainees before Ukrainian troops swept through the village of Kozacha Lopan in a major counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region this month. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said more than 10 such “torture chambers” have been discovered in the region since the hasty withdrawal of Russian troops last week. The claims of what occurred in the room could not be independently confirmed.

Kozacha Lopan, whose edge lies less than two kilometers (just over a mile) from the Russian border, was retaken by Ukrainian forces Sept. 11.

In a statement posted Saturday on its Telegram channel, the prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv region, in whose jurisdiction Kozacha Lopan lies, said the room seen by AP journalists was used as a torture cell during the occupation of the area. It said Russian forces had set up a local police force that ran the prison, adding that documents confirming the functioning of the police department and implements of torture had been seized. The statement said an investigation was being conducted.

Images the prosecutors released showed a Russian military TA-57 telephone with additional wires and alligator clips attached to it. Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of using the Soviet-era radio telephones as a power source to shock prisoners during interrogation.

In his nightly address to the nation Saturday, Zelenskyy mentioned another location, at the railway station in Kozacha Lopan, where he said “a room for torture and tools for electric torture was found.” AP journalists did not see that location.

Zelenskyy compared the Russians to the Nazis during World War II.

“And they will answer in the same way — both on the battlefields and in the courtrooms,” he said.

Burial sites have been found in some areas where Russian forces were pushed out, most notably in the city of Izium, where Ukrainian officials say more than 440 graves have been found near the city’s cemetery. …read more

Source:: AOL.com

      

Ukraine alleges torture at village near Russian border

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