Former Prisoners of Ukraine Described SBU Torture in the Secret Mariupol Prison

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


On July 6th the former prisoner, the supporter of the DPR Vitaly Osinsky at a press conference at the Donetsk News Agency described the atrocities of the Ukrainian special services. The man spent 10 days behind the bars of a secret Ukrainian prison.

“I was detained on January 28th, 2015, in Mariupol by unknown persons in masks. They brought me ‘to the basement’ where the torture began. I couldn’t receive an explanation from them about what they wanted from me,” said Osinsky, beginning his story.

According to the former prisoner, the supervisors repeatedly changed the methods of humiliation and torture, restrained him with handcuffs, beat him and tormented him with strangulation.

“They put a gas mask on me and cut off the air, beat into the stomach and back, put electronic wires on me. They put a rag on my face and poured water on it, and when I choked they overturned me sideways so that I didn’t suffocate,” stated the man.

Where exactly in Mariupol the prison was situated, Osinsky never knew. He remembers that it was a certain “Colonel” who directed the process — it is like this that the torturers called their Commander. The latter was repeatedly interested in the family of the supporter of the DPR and threatened to finish with his son.

“He was answered that I have a small child. He said: bring him here, I will tear him apart in front of his eyes,” remembers the former prisoner.

Osinsky stayed in the basement for 10 days. Afterwards he was placed in the cell in the department of the SBU in Mariupol. He didn’t participate in military operations, and the official reason for detention wasn’t given to him. Some time later Osinsky was released on the territory of the DPR within the framework of an exchange of prisoners between Donetsk and Kiev.

About the use of violence in Ukraine, one more former prisoner Aleksandra Valko, who in 2014, at the post of Deputy of Pervomaisk village council of the Yasinovataya region, took part in the preparation of a referendum on the self-determination of Donbass, knows firsthand. Like many other captivated supporters of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Valko endured torture and humiliation, to which she was subjected by fighters of nationalist battalions.

“Late in the evening of January 27th, 2015, twelve ‘Right Sector’ members with machine guns broke open the doors of my house, rushed inside, and took me away to the ‘Rossiya’ mine (Krasnoarmeisk region). I was chained in handcuffs. My hands were decayed to the bones. I wasn’t fed, I given some liquid to drink— most likely it was drugs. They beat me very strongly with a rubber hammer to the head. I have three fractures on my face. They cut me with a knife, broke my nails,” said Valko.

The conditions of detention didn’t correspond to even elementary sanitary standards. After 11 days in handcuffs, Valko was placed in a cold cell. The woman still can’t understand the motivation of Ukrainian fighters. “We are not military people, we simply civilian population,” she said.

According to the data of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Donetsk People’s Republic Darya Morozova, for June 30th, the Ukrainian side holds 684 persons. The presence of 419 of them is confirmed by representatives of Kiev, data on 248 persons is absent or is being probed. Another 508 people are currently reported missing.

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As a reminder, earlier Morozova repeatedly declared the existence of secret prisons in Ukraine. Thus, in May, 2016, the SBU intentionally didn’t let representatives of the UN subcommittee on the prevention of torture inside the prisons of Donbass in order to hide the torture of prisoners.


Mariupol: Testimonies of the City of Shadows

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