Kyiv vows to hunt down Russian troops who castrated Ukrainian soldier

Horrifying footage posted on pro-Kremlin social media shows the captive being mutilated with a box-cutting knife

BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT and Natalia RUSSIA CORRESPONDENT, ISTANBUL 29 July 2022 • 7:36pm

Ukraine has vowed to hunt down the Russian troops who appeared to castrate a Ukrainian soldier with a box cutter in horrifying footage shared on pro-Kremlin social media channels.

The video, which analysts confirmed to be genuine, showed a group of Russian soldierspinning down a member of Ukraine’s armed forces, before using the knife to remove his clothes and mutilate him.

Kyiv and its Western allies responded to the graphic footage with further calls to equip the country in order to defeat Russia’s invasion.

It came as Ukraine accused Russia of a false-flag strike on a prison in Kremlin-controlled Donetsk, which reportedly killed at least 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war. Russian-backed separatists in the eastern breakaway region claimed the pre-trial detention facility, where members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion were said to be held, was struck by US-provided Himars rockets.

In the shocking castration clip, a man in a Ukrainian military uniform, gagged and with his hands tied behind his back, appeared to be restrained and mutilated by at least three men wearing Russian army fatigues.

They shout insults in Russian as the attacker, wearing a distinctive black hat, carried out the grim assault.

On Friday, an adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, confirmed the authenticity of the video and pledged to bring the perpetrator to justice.

Mikhailo Podolyak tweeted:

Михайло Подоляк

@Podolyak_M

RF propagandists delightedly showed how a group of ru-tyrants crippled captive. World has to realize: — a country of cannibals who enjoy torture and murder. But the fog of war will not help to avoid punishment for the executioners. We will identify and get to each of you.

Inna Sovsun, a Ukrainian MP, added: “Russia has to pay for it. Give Ukraine the weapons we need to stop this nightmare once and for all. The world can’t pretend like this isn’t happening.”

Adam Kinzinger, a US Congressman, said Ukraine’s Western allies should respond to the video by sending arms, including the multi-launch rocket systems devastating Moscow’s forces, to Kyiv. “Every time something like this emerges, that should be another handful of Himars. Russia is evil,” he said.

Andriy Yermak, Mr Zelensky’s chief of staff, has told allies in Washington that Ukraine would be able to turn the tides if its forces were provided with long-range Atacms missile systems, which can strike targets some 280 kilometres away.

A second video shared on pro-Kremlin social media channels appeared to show the same group of Russian soldiers shooting the Ukrainian in the head and dragging the soldier away with ropes tied to his ankles.

The Georgian Legion, which has around 1,000 volunteer fighters supporting the Ukrainian army, said its sniper squads were ready to hunt down the perpetrators from the gruesome videos.

“There will be no place to hide for every single war criminal,” the group said on Twitter.

Since the footage was shared online, internet sleuths have attempted to identify the soldier, who was wearing a distinctive hat, responsible.

Aric Toler, of the Bellingcat investigative website, said the initial footage showed no signs of manipulation and appeared genuine, but it was impossible to confirm a time and location of the video.

The researcher said he had identified the main Russian attacker because he had appeared in Russian television news clips filmed at the captured Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk.

The soldier was wearing the same black hat and bracelet, as well as uniform and insignia, in both videos, Mr Toler said.

The Russian soldiers are believed to be from the Akhmat Grozny special forces unit from Russia’s region of Chechnya.

But the trousers worn by the perpetrator could also suggest the involvement of troops from the Rosgvardia unit – Russia’s national guard reporting directly to Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine is investigating more than 14,000 alleged war crimes carried out by Russian forces in the country since the invasion on February 24.

There have been widespread reports of torture and sexual violence against Ukrainian civilians and soldiers in five months of war.

prison in Olenivka
A destroyed barrack at a prison in Olenivka, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces, eastern Ukraine CREDIT: AP

Meanwhile, the head of Ukraine’s armed forces on Friday confirmed an attack on a prison in Olenivka, deep inside Russian-controlled territory in the Donetsk region.

Kyiv accused Russian forces of carrying out the attack on the facility.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said: “Russia has committed another petrifying war crime by shelling a correctional facility in occupied Olenivka where it held Ukrainian PoWs. I call on all partners to strongly condemn this brutal violation of international humanitarian law and recognise Russia as a terrorist state.”

Ukraine’s General Staff added: “The explosions took place on the territory of the industrial zone, in a newly built building that was supposed to be specially equipped to hold prisoners taken out of Azovstal. The equipment of the building was finished two days ago, after which part of the detained Ukrainian Defenders were transferred to it.”

Ukrainian intelligence officers blamed mercenaries from the pro-Kremlin Wagner Group for the attack.

But earlier on Friday, Russia’s ministry of defence said the prison had been hit overnight by Ukrainian forces with US-provided Himars rocket systems.

“Forty Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed and 75 wounded,” it said.

A spokeswoman for the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic told Russian war reporters that no Russian guards were killed and injured in the strike.

Footage released by Russian state TV on Friday appeared to show a prison compartment with charred bunk beds and other belongings scattered around. Body parts and shoes were seen strewn on the floor.

Moscow said the attack was a “bloody provocation of the Kyiv regime” designed to discourage Ukrainian troops from surrendering on the battlefield.

“This egregious provocation was carried out to intimidate Ukrainian servicemen,” the Russian defence ministry said.

3 comments

  1. “A spokeswoman for the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic told Russian war reporters that no Russian guards were killed and injured in the strike.”

    To me, this statement speaks a loud and clear language that this strike was not a Ukrainian one, but cold-blooded murder by mafia land. There is no way that cockroaches would not be harmed in any way in a strike that killed and wounded 115 Ukrainians.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I caught that part too. This was cold blooded, premeditated murder. Willing to bet all the guards were warned this why none of them were killed let alone injured. They will be hunted till they take dirt naps.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Absolutely, there would be “security” everywhere.
        The other sad thing is, this is just one case of torture, there have been thousands and thousands of cases like this over 8 years but of course most we will never hear about. The Moskali nation needs to be erased and fumigated so it can start over.

        Liked by 1 person

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