Ukraine: Zelensky accuses Russian fascists of torture in Kharkiv region
Sylvie Claire / September 18, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian forces that previously occupied much of Ukraine's Kharkiv region of widespread use of torture.
At least 10 torture sites have been discovered in the recently liberated eastern region, he said in his daily video address Saturday night. "Torture was a widespread practice in the occupied territory," the president said, calling the occupiers, who fled in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive a week ago, "fascists" and comparing their behavior to that of the Nazis.
Like the Nazis, the Russians will be held accountable for their actions in court, Zelensky warned. "We will establish the identity of all those who tortured and mistreated people, who brought these atrocities from Russia here, to Ukrainian territory."
The occupation forces abandoned the torture equipment when they fled, he added. Ukrainian authorities have also released photos of what they believe are torture sites and equipment.
Evidence of such actions was also found among the bodies discovered in a mass grave in a forest near the town of Izum, Zelensky further said, adding that the work of exhuming the dead continued on Saturday. Russia denies targeting civilians and says the allegations of human rights violations are a smear campaign. Moscow has not commented on the mass burial site in Izum, where 450 bodies were reportedly found.