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Russians executed over 30 Ukrainian POWs during winter: UN report

Russians executed over 30 Ukrainian POWs during winter: UN report Russians executed over 30 Ukrainian prisoners of war during the winter (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

During this winter, Russian occupiers executed 32 Ukrainian prisoners of war. This is significantly more than in previous periods, according to the report of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

The 38th report of the UN mission on the human rights situation in Ukraine covers the period from December 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024. Experts conducted interviews with 60 Ukrainian servicemen recently released from captivity.

Ukrainian soldiers described the horrific treatment by occupiers in captivity, including the inability to communicate with their families and the lack of adequate food and medical assistance.

Russian military personnel and officials are reported to torture prisoners, including beatings, electric shocks, prolonged uncomfortable positions, threats of execution, or simulation. More than half of the prisoners experienced sexual violence.

The report's authors note that these data confirm that the Russian army continues to employ established practices of torture, cruel treatment, deaths in captivity, detention without communication with the outside world, enforced disappearances, and appalling conditions of detention.

"In the reporting period, OHCHR recorded 12 cases of executions of at least 32 captured Ukrainian POWs. OHCHR has verified three of these incidents in which Russian servicemen executed seven Ukrainian servicemen hors de combat," the report said.

The UN also provides information on interviews with 44 Russian prisoners of war, who, while not reporting torture in official places of detention, provided "credible accounts of torture or ill-treatment in transit places after their immediate evacuation from the battlefield."

Furthermore, the mission's report contains information on the violence by the Russian administration against residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine, including killings of civilians, arbitrary detentions, and restrictions on freedom of expression.

According to the UN, the overall number of established losses among civilians in Ukraine remains proportionate to the number of losses for the previous period.

In the previous UN report, it was mentioned that Ukrainian prisoners of war suffer months of torture in Russian prisons.

Executions of Ukrainian prisoners

Earlier it was reported that Russian military personnel shot 6 Ukrainian prisoners of war during the withdrawal from the Zenit position in Avdiivka. Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN to investigate the circumstances of the shooting of soldiers executed when the Ukrainian Armed Forces left Avdiivka.

Russian occupiers also shot Ukrainian prisoners of war between the villages of Ivanivske and Khromove in the Donetsk region.