KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO — SUNDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2022, 19:46
The National Police of Kharkiv Oblast have reported the details of seven Sri Lankan citizens who had been in captivity and managed to free themselves after liberation of the oblast.
Source: Serhii Bolvinov, head of the Investigative Department of the National Police in Kharkiv Oblast, on Facebook
Details: As Bolvinov reported, seven Sri Lankan citizens, a woman and six men were in Kupiansk at the beginning of the full-scale invasion. They were frightened by the war and decided not to go anywhere, but to hide instead.
In May, they tried to reach Kharkiv on foot, but were detained at the very first Russian army checkpoint. The Russians tied their hands, put bags on their heads and took them to a makeshift prison in Vovchansk.
Quote: "The Sri Lankan citizens were kept in inhumane conditions there; they were forced to work as cleaners. A woman was kept in solitary confinement for two months! Two of them had their nails torn off; one was hit on the head with a door. Since the Ruscists do not speak English, foreigners never understood what the Russians wanted from them, and what they were tortured for. The only thing they understood was that the Russians said ‘money’ during the torture. Judging from this, the second army of the world demanded money from the detained foreigners from Sri Lanka."
More details: After liberation of Vovchansk, the foreigners again decided to go to Kharkiv on foot, on the way they met a hotel guard, who sheltered them and informed Ukrainian police about it.
Investigation of this case is ongoing; police have contacted the Embassy of Sri Lanka, and the victims have been provided with safe and proper living conditions.
Background: On 16 September, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that seven Sri Lankan citizens who had been held captive by the occupiers since March (according to Bolvinov's version, they have been in captivity since May - ed.) were rescued in the liberated territories of Kharkiv Oblast.