Ukraine war: Torture camps reported in Kharkiv, Russian forces suffer huge casualties

Kharkiv, Ukraine - Local authorities on Monday said they discovered 25 torture camps in the area surrounding the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv since its liberation from Russian occupation.

The aftermath of a Russian missile strike on Kharkiv, where local authorities reported finding torture chambers.
The aftermath of a Russian missile strike on Kharkiv, where local authorities reported finding torture chambers.  © REUTERS

In the camps, Russian troops had detained and tortured civilians under inhumane conditions, among other things, regional police chief Volodymyr Timoshko said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Some of the prisoners had been subjected to electric shocks and others had had their fingers broken, he said.

The area around Kharkiv was occupied by Russian troops for months. They only withdrew at the beginning of September after a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

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Since then, 920 bodies of civilians, among them 25 children, have been discovered in the liberated region, Timoshko added, claiming that were killed by Russian soldiers.

According to investigations by Ukrainian authorities, Russian forces have also committed war crimes in other occupied territories.

After the withdrawal of Russian units from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, the bodies of more than 400 people were discovered there. Most of them had died violent deaths. The investigation is ongoing.

Ukrainian attack causes high number of Russian casualties

The temporary accommodation housing Russian reservists near Donetsk was hit by Ukrainian missile strikes.
The temporary accommodation housing Russian reservists near Donetsk was hit by Ukrainian missile strikes.  © REUTERS

Meanwhile, Russia said that 63 soldiers were killed in Ukrainian missile strikes in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine on New Year's Eve, as Kyiv reported a fifth consecutive night of mass drone strikes.

The missiles hit temporary accommodation in Makiivka near Donetsk, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said on Monday.

Earlier, the Ukrainian military reported that 400 Russian soldiers had been killed and 300 wounded.

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It is very unusual for Moscow to confirm a high number of soldiers killed after an attack. It is the highest number of deaths in one place cited by Russia itself in the war that Russia started in February.

The figure is nevertheless considered by many to be too low.

According to media reports, those killed are reservists who were called up in the course of the partial mobilization ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. They are said to have gathered in the building for a new year's celebration.

The Ukrainian military reportedly became aware of the site because of the high activity of mobile phone data traffic. Unconfirmed reports said the building was next to an ammunition depot, which is why there were devastating explosions.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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