UN: Torture and Killing of Ukrainian and Russian POWs Must be Stopped Immediately

by Ethan Kim
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United Nations (UN) experts have gathered evidence that Russian forces might have done some really bad things during their invasion of Ukraine. This includes killing prisoners of war, torturing them, using them as human shields and other horrible activities. The UN released a report about all of this on Friday.

The United Nations’ human rights office conducted an investigation into how prisoners of war were treated in Ukraine. They interviewed roughly 400 people who had either been captured by the Ukrainians or released by the Russians. This report was just released and covers what happened over a six-month time span ending in January.

The team said that it was unable to explore prisons in Russia or the parts of Ukraine controlled by them. They also found 48 other areas where people were locked up, and about 40 cases of people being killed within 13 months.

The U.N. has been closely watching the situation in eastern Ukraine since 2014, as this is where a lot of the conflict between Russia and its allies is happening. The information they have gathered only shows some of the cases, so there might be more casualties than reported.

The United Nations is carefully investigating stories of bad things that have happened during the conflict. The U.N. will use this evidence to possibly put people on trial at the International Criminal Court. This court looks into reports about people getting murdered and kids being taken away against their will.

Matilda Bogner, the leader of the U.N. observation team, warned that Ukrainian forces may have killed up to 25 prisoners of war and soldiers sent to fight in combat. She made this statement at a press conference in Kyiv.

Ms Bogner described the mistreatment of civilians and prisoners of war from both sides. However, she noted that this was mainly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian prosecutors were investigating but no one had been arrested so far.

The people in charge are really concerned about the way Ukrainian prisoners of war have been treated. It is said that 15 Ukrainian prisoners were killed out of nowhere after being caught by Russian forces, and 11 of these killings were done by a group known as Wagner Group. There have also been cases where some Ukrainians were tortured or treated badly leading to death, and a few others died for lack of proper medical help in captivity.

Research shows that prisoners of war (POWs) on both sides have experienced ill-treatment and torture, but much more frequently to Ukrainian POWs than Russians. In fact, almost 9 out 10 Ukrainians have reported abuse compared to half of the Russians.

In its new report about rights violations against some groups, the human rights office revealed that children from Kharkiv city in northeastern Ukraine were taken to “summer camps” in Russia with their parents’ permission but didn’t return home when their vacation was over. Some parts of Kharkiv’s area were occupied by Russia last year before the Ukrainian army got them back during a strong offensive at the end of summer.

Around 200 kids attended a camp in the Russian city Krasnodarskyi Krai, and stayed even after it ended. Those children were then enrolled in local schools nearby. In October, Russia reported there were 2,500 Ukrainian kids living in private areas and some of them still stayed there.

However, it’s not clear how many children live in camps, temporary homes or institutions in Russia. Neither is it certain how many kids are living there with both of their parents. The monitors also found out that there have been a lot of civilians who were killed because they cooperated with Russia’s military forces in places occupied by them.

The United Nations office said they were worried that some of the deaths might have been caused by Ukrainian authorities or with their permission. They asked for an official investigation to get all the details right.

In the last 6 months, there were a total of 621 reports where Russian soldiers either kidnapped someone or put them in jail unfairly. There are some really awful things that those same soldiers did: they punched people’s private areas, threatened to hurt the victim’s family and even worse.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, 85 men, 45 women and 3 girls have been documented to be victims of conflict-related sexual violence. Almost all the cases are caused by Russian military, police, and prison officers while the rest are because of Ukrainian security forces. This was reported on 31st January 2021.

A woman in Ukraine was attacked by members of a Russian security organization called “Federal Security Service” in July. The attackers strangled her, electrocuted her, beat her up, kicked her, raped her many times and even forced her to do oral sex.

The United Nations has recently stated that in Ukraine, 8,317 people have died and 13,809 were hurt due to the war. It was said too that these numbers may not include everyone who got effected. People wrote this news from Geneva and Paris. For more information about the fight in Ukraine, you can visit https://bigbignews.net/russia-ukraine for updates.

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