In the territory of the Kharkiv region liberated from Russian troops, law enforcement officers have already discovered ten torture chambers organised by the occupiers – in the towns of Vovchansk, Kupyansk, Balakliya, and Izium. This was announced by Ihor Klymenko, Head of the National Police of Ukraine.
According to him, two torture chambers were discovered in Balakliya. OMON Russian riot police, special units of the Russian Guard, and fighters of the so-called “LPR” were stationed in the town.
“They put a bag on people’s heads and took them to the toilet. There were no sanitary facilities in the torture chambers. The second torture chamber was more brutal. Boxes were brought there, and people were kept in them. There was torture, there was abuse. Electric current was applied there, ‘nooses’ were found,’” Klymenko said.
One torture chamber was discovered in the village of Hrakove, Chuhuiv district, and another one in Vovchansk.
According to the National Police head, six torture chambers were discovered in places of deployment of the Russian military, including Russian Guard members, FSB and SOBR officers, in Izium.
“About 445 graves are known. This is not a one-week job. The bodies have been buried since March. Appropriate equipment, excavators arrived, laboratories work,” the official said.
Now in Izium, 40 investigators, 10 forensic laboratories, employees of the prosecutor’s office, the Security Service of Ukraine, forensic medical experts, and equipment work at the graves.
“We have to establish not only the number of people but also the causes of death. At the same time, we will have to identify each body; that is, we’ll work with close relatives of the dead,” Klymenko emphasised.
Over the past week, he added, the Ukrainian law enforcement officers opened 204 criminal proceedings over war crimes committed by the occupiers.
The day before, Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the Kharkiv region police department, and Oleh Kotenko, commissioner for missing persons, reported the discovery of mass graves near Izium. In particular, a mass grave of Ukrainian soldiers was found at the cemetery, where up to 25 defenders were buried.
Earlier, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russians had behaved during the occupation of Izium and Balakliya the same way as in the Kyiv region: they tortured residents, and destroyed kindergartens and schools and other infrastructure facilities.