According to a new investigation by an international human rights law firm, almost half of Ukrainian detainees in camps in Kherson have been subjected to torture and sexual violence.
Analysis of cases in more than 35 identified detention centers revealed that asphyxiation, waterboarding, electrocution, beatings and threats of rape are common methods used by Russian guards in the occupied region.
Global Rights Compliance’s Mobile Justice Team, together with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office (OPG), reviewed the stories of 320 people held in Kherson, with 43% reporting experiences of torture during their detention.
Those held at the centers included volunteers, activists, medical leaders, teachers, community leaders, law enforcement officials and military personnel.
Wayne Jordash KC, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Global Rights Compliance, said: “The torture and sexual violence tactics prosecutors uncover in the Kherson detention centers suggest that Putin’s plan to erase Ukrainian identity encompasses a series of evocative crimes. ‘ of genocide.
“At least the pattern we are observing is consistent with a cynical and calculated plan to humiliate and terrorize millions of Ukrainian citizens in order to submit them to the dictates of the Kremlin.”
A corridor in a place where Ukrainians were held, on Pylypa Orlyka Street, where the Russians tried to set a fire to hide traces of their crimes and burn documents before retreating
Cobwebs covered in soot in the basement of the detention center at Pylypa Orlyka Street.
The Mobile Justice Team, part of the UK, EU and US sponsored Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA), was set up by an international human rights law firm and foundation. Global Compliancein April 2022.
It is headed by world-renowned British lawyer Wayne Jordash KC. The team’s CRSV work is mainly funded by the EU.
Their disturbing analysis unearthed new evidence of horrific sex crimes being committed by Russian soldiers at the centers, including electrocution of the genitals, threats of female genital mutilation and witnessing another inmate being raped with a foreign body.
A Russian soldier reportedly ordered the genital electrocution of 17 different victims in the detention centers.
Anna Mykytenko, Senior Legal Adviser and Ukraine Country Manager, Global Rights Compliance, told MailOnline: “What struck us in our investigations is that sexual violence has been, and continues to be, used by Russian forces to humiliate and humiliate prisoners, among other things .’other goals.’
She added, “There is no doubt that the victims of these crimes will bear long-term psychological scars after their incarceration in these detention centers.”
Evidence of the atrocities has mounted in recent months, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accusing Russia of war crimes in Cherson in November 2022.
Mass graves have been found across Ukraine since the war began in February last year.
Global Rights Compliance said the reported “patterns” of rapes and other sex crimes against squatted people across Ukraine may indicate a “deliberate plan at a systemic level.”
Mykytenko said: “The true extent of Russia’s war crimes remains unknown, but what we can say with certainty is that the psychological consequences of these atrocious crimes for the Ukrainian people will be etched in the memory of the Ukrainian people for many years to come.”
“What we are seeing in Kherson is just the tip of the iceberg in Putin’s barbaric plan to wipe out an entire population.” Justice will be served to Ukrainian survivors as we continue our mission to identify and hold perpetrators accountable.
“Impunity is not an option.”
The group said the “hunt” for the perpetrators was “in full swing.”
Since the liberation of a large part of Kherson Oblast in October 2022, research has focused on the city and the large number of Ukrainian citizens held in detention centers and allegedly ill-treated during the Russian occupation.
The law firm also analyzed early evidence the OPG had collected since March 2022, Mykytenko told MailOnline.
This news follows an announcement by Global Rights Compliance in February 2023 that revealed evidence uncovering financial records linking the torture chambers directly to the Russian state.
A building of a detention center in Kherson where Ukrainians were held
Ukrainian prisoners were forced to write and learn the national anthem of Russia during their detention
Also in April, Ukrainian power plant workers claimed they were tortured by Russian invaders after refusing to “help” during last year’s occupation.
Workers at the Zaporizhia power plant in Russian-held Enerhodar told how they were brutally treated by the invading forces.
An anonymous alleged victim said the Times: “I had bruises and blood on my face.” I was hit in the head and body with a rubber truncheon… They held a gun with rubber bullets about a meter or two from my leg and fired.”
Some claimed their colleagues were killed by Russian forces during the occupation.
11,000 workers were employed at the Zaporizhia power plant when Russian troops claimed occupation on February 24, 2022, the first day of the war.
Separately, Russian invaders Last year, 367 people were forced into a school basement in occupied Yahidne, north of Kiev. 200 square meters.
The villagers, including an 18-month-old baby, were held there for almost a month, and eleven of them died.
One of the survivors said some people died from lack of oxygen in the small basement.
Wayne Jordash KC told MailOnline at the time: “There is no doubt that the Russian armed forces were operating under a plan.”
“At the very least, Russia intended to destroy Ukraine as a nation through a concerted campaign of international crimes.”
“More than 450 civilians died early and hundreds more were disappeared, tortured, sexually abused or injured during the nearly month-long occupation by this brutal force.”
“The Russian plan for Bucha is now as clear as day: they wanted to eliminate every semblance of Ukrainian resistance and Ukrainian identity in the city, and they were willing to stop at nothing – including terrorism, torture and the indiscriminate killing of civilians – to achieve this .” Goal.’
Ukrainian prosecutors said in May they had registered 85,000 Russian war crimes since the war began.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Putin for war crimes in March.
The ICC can hear a case only if the country where the crime was committed is a party to the Rome Statute – which defines international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression – or if the district of the offender’s origin is party to the statute.
Ukraine has signed the 1998 treaty but has not yet ratified it.
Russia was a signatory but withdrew its signature in 2016.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leaves the basement of a school in the village of Yahidne in the Chernihiv region, where all residents were imprisoned during the Russian occupation
Halyna Tolochina stands in front of a wall with the names of people who died in a school basement in the village of Yahidne as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues
Founded in 2013, Global Rights Compliance is an international law firm and human rights foundation specializing in international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and business and human rights.
Global Rights Compliance’s mission is to deliver justice through the innovative application of international law.
Its Mobile Justice team provides specialized front-line operational support to the Attorney General’s Office [OPG] in Ukraine.
The team consists of a mix of Ukrainian and foreign experienced investigators and lawyers.