The occupation of Kherson by Russian forces has brought to light the brutal tactics employed by the occupying troops. Survivors have come forward to share their harrowing accounts of torture and abuse, shedding light on the atrocities committed during this period.
Detention centres were established throughout the region, where thousands of people were held captive.
The torture methods described by some of the survivors, such as electric shocks and severing body parts, paint a grim picture of the sadistic nature of the occupying forces, reports Sky News. The physical and psychological trauma inflicted on detainees was relentless and designed to break their spirits.
Speaking to Sky News, one of the survivors, Olga Cherniak, described the excruciating pain as waves of electricity coursed through her body. The guards continued their sadistic assault until she lost consciousness.
Upon regaining consciousness, the torture resumed. Finally, after relentless attempts to extract information, the Russians gave up. Olga was left in a state of collapse, her fingers covered in burns.
When her cellmates asked for a doctor, she was refused one.
“There was no doctor. Instead, they brought a fellow prisoner – a chiropractor,” she said.
He told her she had suffered a heart attack.
“I’m grateful to him for saving my life – my left arm and left leg were completely disabled.”
She added: “We heard people being tortured 24 hours a day. Electrodes would be attached to any part of the body.”
The scale of the atrocities is staggering. With estimates suggesting that between 1,400 and 6,600 people were detained, it is clear that the occupation brought widespread suffering to the region. The fact that 60 per cent of detainees experienced torture and 40 per cent endured sexual violence is a chilling statistic that has emerged from the war torn country.
The collaboration between the Media Initiative for Human Rights and Sky News has provided crucial evidence to support the survivors’ accounts. The year-long investigation has unearthed official documents and open-source data that corroborate the stories of torture and war crimes.
The liberation of Kherson in November 2022 brought a glimmer of hope for the region, but it also revealed the extent of the atrocities committed during the occupation.