Use of Torture in Areas of Ukraine Occupied by the Russian Federation

Andrzej Sobon, Jacek Mrozek, Piotr Gawliczek
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXVIΙ, Issue 1, 50-64, 2024
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/3348


Purpose: This article is devoted to the problem of torture in areas of Ukraine occupied by the Russian Federation. Official Russian law prohibits the brutal treatment of people - resorting to similar practices is punishable by, among other things, imprisonment. Despite this, Russian law enforcement agencies use torture against detainees in order to obtain information. The full scale of the crimes committed by the Russians (or their allies) in the conquered areas of Ukraine is not yet known. Obtaining more complete data will probably become possible after the liberation of these areas. Design/Methodology/Approach: The first goal of this study was to analyse the discrepancies between the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Executive Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, which prohibits the use of torture, and the practice of Russian criminal law in which law enforcement agencies force a confession. The purpose of this research was to analyse documented cases of cruel treatment of people that took place in Ukraine under Russian occupation. Findings: There have been numerous human rights violations, including torture, in the areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia since 2014. The problem escalated after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops on 24 February 2022. Psychological (humiliation, intimidation), physical (beating, electrocution, starvation) and sexual violence was used against prisoners of war, as well as civilians suspected of collaborating with the Kiev 'regime'. Detainees were held in rooms that did not meet basic sanitary standards. Similar actions had a small systemic character and were part of the policy of mass terror against the inhabitants of the occupied territories who were opponents of Russian aggression. Practical implication: This paper is devoted to analysing the terror and tortures against Ukrainian civilians became one of the main tools of control used by the Russian armed forces. Cases of ill-treatment and torture were already recorded from very beginning days of the invasion. The scale of these crimes is not only about statistics, but above all about the dramas and tragedies of society. The measure of torture in Russia has been a source of concern for the international courts, even than numbers of crimes is not yet known. The actions of the Russian Federation indicate the lack of accountability of the authorities and the weakness of the justice system. Originality/value: The article presents original scientific research on the use of torture by the armed forces of the Russian Federation against Ukrainian prisoners of war. Torture served various purposes, but it was a tool to maintain the atmosphere of fear and terror. Several dozen cases were investigated, which is a fraction of the total number, since full data will probably be possible after the occupation of all Ukrainian lands occupied by the Putin’s regime.

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