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Needles stuck in wounds and broken ribs: Azov fighters revealed the tortures they suffered in captivity

The recently released Azov regiment fighters, who were taken prisoner after defending the Azovstal steel works, spoke about the pressure Russians put on them while they were in hospital and the prisoner camp in occupied Olenivka.

Although they are now undergoing arduous rehabilitation, the fighters are ready to testify and bring evidence before all international courts, including the Hague International Court of Justice, which are considering cases against Russia.

Thus, Vladyslav Zhaivoronok, nom de guerre Wikipedia, says that he was severely wounded on the night before the evacuation, when the fighters surrendered, and spent 1.5 months in a Donetsk hospital thereafter.

Quote"They used all means possible to put pressure on us. Russia doesn’t seek the truth: it chooses what should be the truth and then makes up what is supposed to be facts," Vladyslav stressed.

According to him, when they were held prisoners, Russia needed to prove that the POWs generally received medical treatment, but in fact it wasn’t quality treatment and only sufficed to keep them alive.

There was an intense psychological pressure: the wounded fighters had no access to communication with their families and the outside world. They were constantly told that nobody wanted them and that Ukraine was losing the war, so there was nobody to call.

Quote"Interrogations started from the first days: I got interrogated even before they gave me the antibiotics I needed after my leg had been amputated. I know that others had needles stuck in their wounds and were tortured with water," Wikipedia said.

He added that the wounded Azov fighters didn’t receive adequate treatment due to the lack of either medications or qualification. At the same time, Russia didn’t seek help from the Red Cross or other organizations, which simply weren’t allowed access to the hospital or the camp.

Quote"We received a bare minimum of medications, and sometimes didn’t receive the necessary ones," Vladyslav said. "The overall conditions during our treatment were very uncomfortable for an ordinary person, and those who were in the hospital were severely wounded."

He said that some of the severely wounded were in Olenivka.

Quote"We can only guess how they tortured those whom they considered healthy enough, because we have no communication with them. However, it can be seen even from the videos with them posted by the Russians."

Denys Chepurko, nom de guerre Mango, another Azov fighter, was wounded back on May 11, when he lost his hand and got a shrapnel wound in his leg. He wasn’t evacuated to the hospital but was sent to Olenivka at once.

Quote"I’ve experienced it all: I saw the guys being beaten, stripped naked, forced to squat, and those who raised their heads were kicked at once," he said.

According to him, the invaders demanded that he sign testimony against his own command stating that it were Azov fighters who bombed Mariupol and killed thousands of civilians. When Denys refused, he was beaten with batons and threatened with execution.

Other prisoners were taken for interrogation and then brought back with broken ribs, hands, and legs. They were given only 20 oz (600 ml) of water a day, which was of very low quality. A 10-square-foot room (1 m2) accommodated 10 POWs who had to sleep on the floor and were given no medications. The Red Cross wasn’t allowed into Olenivka.

Dmytro Usichenko, nom de guerre Vyshnia (Cherry), who was brought by a helicopter to the besieged Mariupol on March 28, also spoke of his imprisonment.

He said that he was wounded twice while at Azovstal. While imprisoned, the Russians threatened him with bodily harm and execution, forcing him to admit that Azov fighters killed civilians.

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