Ukraine claims to have spotted ‘mini-Auschwitz’ in city just liberated by Russian forces | world news
A suspected Russian torture chamber – dubbed “mini-Auschwitz” – has been discovered in a newly liberated city, Ukrainian officials have claimed.
The room, which contained a box of gold dental crowns, was found in an unoccupied town near Izyum, a city in the eastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine.
Occupied by Russian troops since April, Pisky-Radkivski was liberated by Ukrainian troops last week.
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As they made their way through the region, local officials and the National Police said they made the grim discovery in the Borova district, along with several other horrific items.
A gas mask with a dirty cloth attached to it was found, the Kharkiv police chief investigator said, and Ukraine’s defense ministry claimed it was forced onto “the head of a victim, who was covered with a smoldering rag and buried alive.”
The found box of gold dental crowns prompted the ministry to draw parallels between Russian and Nazi forces, dubbing the room “mini-Auschwitz”.
The Nazi concentration camp, which killed an estimated 1.1 million people, saw more than 40 kg of gold and white metal made from false teeth removed from the bodies of victims murdered in gas chambers, according to the Auschwitz Memorial.
Photos released by the head of the Kharkiv National Security Service’s investigative branch, Serhii Bolvinov, also showed a smashed phone, pieces of what appeared to be barbed wire and a sex toy.
“Neighbors kept hearing screams from there. Investigators found a horrific torture chamber in the village,” he said.
He confirmed that police “know the names of the victims” and that an investigation is now underway.
“People were intimidated, beaten and abused”
The country’s National Police has accused Russian troops of committing war crimes while occupying the area.
“When Russian soldiers entered the village, they drove the locals out of their homes and settled there,” it said.
“People were intimidated, beaten and abused. The Russian occupiers left looted houses behind. Dirt and dirt – the trademark of the ‘Russian world’,” it said.
‘Mass Graves’ previously found in Izyum
This is not the first time Russian forces have been accused of war crimes during the war in Ukraine, with tens of thousands of alleged incidents currently under police investigation.
The United Nations Human Rights Office said the invasion of Russia created a dire human rights situation in the country and a wide range of abuses, including extrajudicial killings and torture, which could amount to war crimes, had been committed.
A war crime is defined by the United Nations as a serious violation of international humanitarian law committed against civilians or “enemy combatants” during an armed conflict.
Russia has already been charged with war crimes in Izyum, following the Discovery of more than 440 tombs in the city earlier in the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a “mass grave site” was found in September.
Mr Bolvinov claimed that some of the victims were “shot” while others died as a result of artillery fire, mine blasts and airstrikes.
Bodies found with hands tied behind their backs
One of the most notable alleged war crimes incidents in Ukraine occurred in the City of Buchawhere bodies were found with their hands tied behind their backs.
Just outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, the area was ravaged by fighting, and after Russian troops began retreating, pictures showed a 45-foot-long makeshift mass grave outside a church.
Sky News verified two videos showing bodies lying in the street, including one showing at least seven bodies on the pavement.
Photos taken by the Associated Press showed the bodies of people in civilian clothes with their hands tied behind their backs and wounds on the back of their heads, saying some were shot at point-blank range.
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The images prompted condemnation and offers of more support for Ukraine from around the world, including Britain and the United States.
Russia has repeatedly denied committing war crimes.