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Many Ukrainian prisoners endure vicious torture in Russian captivity – Head of Ukrainian Intelligence

Thursday, 22 September 2022, 20:19
Many Ukrainian prisoners endure vicious torture in Russian captivity – Head of Ukrainian Intelligence


Many of the Ukrainian prisoners who were released on 21 September had endured particularly cruel methods of torture in Russian captivity.

Source: Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, during a press briefing concerning Thursday’s prisoner swap


Quote from Budanov: "Their condition varies drastically. Unfortunately that’s true. Some of them are physically more or less fine, except for being chronically malnourished. Others have endured particularly cruel torture methods. Unfortunately, the number of those [who endured violent torture] among the [prisoners] that were freed [on 21 September] is high…Many of the [prisoners] have endured particularly cruel torture methods."

Details: Budanov also said that different prisoners were subjected to torture arbitrarily, not based on any particular characteristic inherent in them.

"It [the extent to which the Ukrainian prisoners were subjected to torture] was mostly determined by their location. Unfortunately, not all of them were held at the same site, in Olenivka, though maybe that was fortunate. [They were held] at many different facilities on temporarily occupied territories [of Ukraine] and in Russia," Budanov said.

He explained that some of the prisoners who have been released are currently hospitalised in Chernihiv and in hospitals across Chernihiv Oblast.

Most of them are in need of treatment, and all of them need psychological rehabilitation.


  • On 21 September, Ukraine succeeded in setting 215 Ukrainian defenders free, as part of a prisoner of war swap with Russia.
  • Among the released, there are border guards, police officers, marines, National Guardsmen, soldiers of Territorial Defence Forces, customs officers, and civilians. In addition, Denys "Redis" Prokopenko, Serhii "Volyna" Volynskyi, Sviatoslav Palamar, Denys Shleha, Oleh Khomenko [military leaders who took part in defending the Azovstal steel plant] were also released. Mykola "Frost" Kushch and Kostiantyn "Fox" Nikitenko, whom the occupiers had wanted to execute, were set free as well. 
  • Five commanders of Ukrainian units that defended Mariupol from Russian forces are currently in Turkey, under personal protection guarantees provided by President Recep Tayip Erdoğan.
  • Russia got back Viktor Medvedchuk, who has family ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and 55 Russian soldiers.

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