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War in Ukraine, Day 270 | Ukraine says it discovered Russian ‘torture sites’ in Kherson

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(Kyiv) The Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday that it had found four “torture sites” used by the Russians in Kherson (south) before their forced retreat from the region ten days ago, Kyiv accusing Moscow of war crimes.

Moreover, following the shootings, of undetermined origin, which fell on Sunday inside the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insisted on Monday, during a telephone call, on ” the absolute necessity of preserving the safety and security” of the site.

According to the French presidency, Mr. Macron “said his deep concern” about the “new firings against the power plant” in Ukraine, which Moscow and Kyiv mutually accuse each other of having bombed.

He had already discussed it on Sunday with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, who had denounced the “absolutely deliberate, targeted” strikes.

In Kyiv, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, also warned that winter will threaten the lives of millions of Ukrainians, after the series of devastating Russian strikes on the country’s energy infrastructure.

“This winter will put the lives of millions of people in Ukraine at risk,” Kluge said. “To put it simply, this winter will be about survival.”

The damage to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure “is already having devastating effects on the health system and on the health of the population”, he added.

In this context, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for the reintegration of temporarily occupied territories in Ukraine, Iryna Vereshchuk, called on the inhabitants of Kherson to “evacuate for the winter to safer regions of the country”, especially women , children and the elderly.

In Moscow, the Kremlin has promised to punish those responsible for the death of a group of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, denounced by Moscow as an execution, while Kyiv claims that these soldiers were killed after a false surrender.

A Russian strike also left one dead and three injured in Kherson, according to the deputy head of the presidency, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who did not give further details.


PHOTO BULENT KILIC, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A member of the rescue team and a Ukrainian soldier walk away from a burning building in Kherson.

“In Kherson, prosecutors continue to establish Russia’s crimes: torture sites have been established in four buildings,” the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said on Telegram.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the Ukrainian investigators went to “four” buildings, including pre-war “pre-war detention centres”, “where, during the capture of the city, the occupants illegally detained people and brutally tortured”.

“Pieces of rubber truncheons, a wooden bat, a device used by the occupiers to shock civilians, an incandescent lamp and bullets […] were seized,” added the same source, ten days after the recapture of Kherson by the Ukrainian army following a counter-offensive that lasted two months.

Since the liberation of Kherson on November 11, Kyiv has repeatedly denounced Russian “war crimes” and “atrocities” in the Kherson region. Moscow has, at this stage, not reacted to these accusations.


PHOTO GLEB GARANICH, REUTERS

Russia pounded Ukraine’s power grid and other infrastructure from the air, causing widespread power outages and leaving millions of Ukrainians without heat, power or water as freezing cold and snow blanket the capital, Kyiv, and other cities.

” To punish ”

In Washington, US Goodwill Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack drove home the point, saying there was strong evidence of Russian abuses in Ukraine.

There is growing evidence that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “was accompanied by systematic war crimes committed in all regions where Russian forces were deployed”, she said. citing “deliberate, indiscriminate and disproportionate” attacks on civilian populations, abuse of detention of civilians and prisoners of war, forced expulsion or filtering of Ukrainian citizens – including children – to Russia, and murders and sexual violence tantamount to executions, she told reporters, referring to the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War.

The Kremlin accuses the Ukrainians in return, and promised Monday to punish those responsible for the death of a group of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, denounced as a “war crime”.

On the basis of videos posted on social networks, Russia claims that the Ukrainian army executed more than ten of its soldiers who had laid down their arms.

On the first video, a dozen soldiers presumed to be Russian come out one after the other from a shelter, hands in the air, and lie face down on the ground under the injunction of apparently Ukrainian soldiers who hold them at gunpoint.

The video abruptly ends when a last silhouette emerges from the shelter and seems to open fire. Another video filmed by a drone shows the same place with a dozen bodies of soldiers lying in pools of blood.

On Sunday, Ukrainian human rights official Dmytro Lubynets said the videos actually showed a “feigned surrender” and that Russian soldiers had, under international law, “committed a war crime by opening the fire on the Ukrainian armed forces” after pretending to surrender.

The Russian soldiers killed in this incident “cannot therefore be considered as prisoners of war”, he argued.

9 years ago, Euromaidan





Under the snow, Ukraine celebrated on Monday the 9e anniversary of the beginning of the pro-Western “Euromaidan” revolution, which had led to the dismissal of a pro-Russian president at the cost of a repression which had left more than a hundred dead.

In return, Russia had annexed Crimea and stirred up an armed rebellion in the Donbass (East).



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