Ukrainians detail horrific scenes in recently liberated Kherson


Russia Ukraine War
In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy walks on central square during his visit to Kherson, Ukraine, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Ukraine’s retaking of Kherson was a significant setback for the Kremlin and it came some six weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Kherson region and three other provinces in southern and eastern Ukraine — in breach of international law — and declared them Russian territory. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP) AP

Ukrainians detail horrific scenes in recently liberated Kherson

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Ukrainian officials have revealed horrifying actions carried out by Russian forces and terrible conditions in Kherson, a strategically important city from which Moscow retreated.

Kherson’s liberation was a monumental occasion for the city, which had been the only regional capital that Russian forces had captured and occupied. With Russians retreating, Ukrainians took to the streets to celebrate the liberation of their hometown. In spite of the newfound liberation, uncovering the travesties committed by Russian forces remained a horrifying prospect.


Denys Monastyrsky, Ukraine’s interior minister, said that investigators had discovered more than 60 bodies that showed signs of torture, though he noted the number will almost definitely continue to rise. He said they had uncovered 436 different war crimes committed in Kherson from the start of Russia’s occupation of Kherson, which occurred in the early days of the war.

“Now, 63 bodies have been discovered in Kherson region, but we must understand that the search has only just started so many more dungeons and burial places will be uncovered,” he said, according to Interfax Ukraine news agency. “Investigators are currently examining them and setting down every instance of torture. Exhumations are also taking place of the bodies of those who were killed.”

Dmytro Lubinets, a top Ukrainian human rights investigator, shared a video on social media documenting what he described as a torture chamber. In the video, he speaks from what appears to be an underground bunker with grimy walls and floors that he claims were used for interrogations and torture, according to Reuters.

A day after Russia’s retreat, Ukraine had discovered 11 detention centers, four of which they said they believed were being used by the Russians to detain and torture Ukrainian civilians, the New York Times added.

“The United States supports unified and coordinated action for all existing efforts to examine mounting evidence of atrocities in Ukraine, including the International Criminal Court, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, the expert missions established under the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism, and the Joint Investigative Team coordinated through Eurojust,” the office of the State Department spokesperson said in a statement on Friday. “The United States remains unwavering in its support of the government and people of Ukraine as they defend their country and their freedom. There is only one country waging this unprovoked, premeditated war of choice with willful disregard for human life: Russia.”

This has become a routine during the war: Russia retreats from an area it occupies in Ukraine, and locals are left to discover the atrocities left in the Russians’ wake. Each time, there are reports of executions, torture, and sexual violence.

Earlier this week, a prominent Kremlin proxy tasked with administrating the occupied parts of a neighboring Ukrainian region, Vladimir Rogov, alleged that the war crimes were committed by Ukraine’s military, and said the sabotage is similar to other atrocities that had been discovered upon a Russian retreat.


“Now that the Ukrainian army has entered Kherson, people tortured to death and killed as a result of extrajudicial reprisals by Zelensky’s militants will now be presented as victims of violence of Russia and Russian soldiers,” Rogov, an official in the Russia-installed administration in Zaporizhzhia, said. “The Zelensky regime’s methods of warfare and war crimes have confirmed this more than once in Bucha and in the Kharkiv region.”

Horrific war crimes were found in Bucha in the early months of the war following Russia’s initial phase of the war.

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