The defenders of Ukraine received medical care at the level that they simply lived to the moment when, perhaps, they will be exchanged.”
The defenders of Azovstal, who returned to the territory controlled by Ukraine as a result of the exchange of prisoners of war, spoke about their stay in Russian captivity, torture and abuse there.
This was discussed in their press conferences.
For example, Vladislav Zhavoronok, a fighter of the separate special-purpose detachment “Azov” (call sign “Wikipedia”), said that he was seriously wounded and spent a month and a half in a hospital in Donetsk.
When asked about the treatment of Russians with prisoners, he noted that “the means of pressure by the Russian side are generally used by everyone.”
“Specifically, in our case, as far as treatment is concerned… Russia needed some kind of fact that we were somehow treated. But in fact it was not a treatment, it was the preservation of life. maybe they will,” he said.
According to Zhavoronok, they were subjected to very strong psychological pressure; prisoners of war were not allowed to get in touch with their families and the outside world in general.
The occupiers also convinced the Ukrainian prisoners of war that they were supposedly “no one needs” and that Ukraine was allegedly losing the war.
“This is already a violation of international conventions… Imagine that the seriously wounded are in the hospital, but from the very first days this moral pressure begins, interrogations begin,” Zhavoronok said and noted that he was interrogated even before he began to receive antibiotics after limb amputation.
He added: “The guys who were there were subjected to significant torture … Someone was stuck with needles in the wound, someone was tortured with water.”
Some of the guys, Lightsong noted, were underhealing due to insufficient medical supplies from the enemy or insufficient knowledge of how to heal a particular fighter.
“For Russia, the fact that they are treating, they seemed to be able to cure us was necessary. Even when the enemy side could not help some of our wounded, they did not ask for help. They did not tell anyone that they did not have enough medicines. Therefore, we received the smallest minimum of these medicines, and sometimes we did not receive the necessary ones,” the fighter said.
The same, he added, applied to medical care.
“If the surgeons didn’t know what to do with a fighter, now such fighters have remained there, in this hospital, as far as I know. I don’t have information about them now,” Zhavoronok stated.
To clarify, torture took place during the so-called investigative actions or during the so-called treatment, he noted that “this happened during treatment in general”, and stressed that everyone who was in the hospital was seriously injured.
“Some of the seriously wounded were not in the hospital, but in Yelenovka – in their prisoner of war camp. And because of this, we can only guess what kind of torture there was for those whom they considered healthy enough for this,” said Zhavoronok.
In turn, Azov fighter Denis Chepurko (call sign Mango), who lost his arm in the battles for Mariupol, noted that he was evacuated to a colony in Yelenovka.
“I witnessed when the guys were beaten. We were driven out to the so-called search and stripped naked … They forced us to squat. Those who raised their heads from the guys, they immediately started beating them,” Chepurko said and added that he was beaten with sticks during interrogations , forcing him to testify against his own command.
Also, the fighter Dmitry Usichenko (call sign “Cherry”) said that in captivity the occupiers frightened him with physical violence and executions.
The fate of the defenders of “Azovstal” after the withdrawal from the territory of the plant
As UNIAN reported earlier, the Russian military captured more than 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
On June 29, the first of the planned exchanges of prisoners of war took place, as a result of which 144 defenders returned to Ukraine, including 95 defenders of Azovstal.
A month later, on the night of July 29, as a result of the actions of the invaders, a building was destroyed on the territory of the former penal colony in the village of Yelenovka in the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk region, in which Ukrainian prisoners of war, taken out of the Azovstal plant, were kept. More than 50 Ukrainian defenders were killed, the number of wounded is unknown.
The Ukrainian law enforcement agencies said that the explosion in Yelenovka was a Russian terrorist act with the aim of hiding war crimes, discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and disrupting the supply of weapons. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the attack was carried out by mercenaries from the PMC “Wagner” (League) on the personal instructions of the nominal owner of the specified PMC – Yevgeny Prigozhin.
On August 6, the Mariupol City Council announced that the enemy was installing cages for a demonstration “trial” in the city’s Philharmonic Society. Subsequently, the leader of the “DPR” Denis Pushilin announced preparations for a demonstration trial.
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine warned that on the Independence Day of Ukraine, the occupiers plan to hold a demonstrative “trial” of the captured defenders of Azovstal in temporarily occupied Mariupol. According to one of the possible scenarios, the Russians can launch a targeted missile attack on the premises.