VLADIMIR Putin’s hellish “torture dungeons” are allegedly giving trapped detainees electric shocks and iron pipe beatings in occupied Crimea, say horrific reports.
Terrified victims’ penises are even being clamped to cruelly force them into submission, add human rights campaigners.
Revelations of their vile torture comes as a defiant Britain warned Putin that he will not stop our ships from sailing past Crimea again, after Russian boats failed to make a Royal Navy destroyer change course.
The Crimea peninsula was illegally annexed from Ukraine by Russia in February-March 2014.
Human rights monitors have recorded more than two hundred cases of inhuman treatment of people, a quarter of which are torture cases, says the Unian Information Society.
Crimea-born Ibrahimjon Mirpochchaev – who managed to flee to safety – told reporters that he was captured during an FSB raid in his house.
Ibrahimjon was tied to a chair, his legs and hands tied up with scotch tape, before being brutally beaten, says Unian.
FSB operatives allegedly put a bag on his head and strangled him, demanding that he confess to extremism.
"They took off my jeans and underwear, put me on the floor, tied my hands around my feet.
"They stuck something into me from behind and connected something, stuffed a rag into my mouth.
"They turned on some kind of machine and I was hit with electricity, I felt like I was burning inside," he said.
"We can only guess how many people have already suffered from Russian torture in Crimea," says Unian.
There is no access to Crimea for any human rights watchdogs, as Russia has blocked their entry.
Open Democracy also reports on those forced to confess to trumped-up crimes under torture.
One victim, Evgeny Panov, recalled: “During the torture they put a clamp on my penis and then screwed it until I went numb."
His captors then allegedly beat and shocked him: “They attached some electrodes to my right knee, left leg and hip with tape, and turned the electricity on.
"I lost consciousness several times.”
Panov added: “They beat my head with an iron pipe, my back, my kidneys, my arms, my legs, they stretched my handcuffs till my hands went numb.
"They hung me up by my handcuffs: they bent my legs at the knees, brought the handcuffs to my front just beneath my knees and then put an iron bar under my knees.
"Then two men picked this bar and me up from either side, causing me incredible pain.”
Since Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, the Crimean Tatars – who almost unanimously opposed and resisted the Russian takeover – have been targeted for repressions, explains Radio Free Europe.
It reported in 2020 that hundreds of children of Crimean Tatars are being held by Russia.
Crimean Tatar activist Mumine Saliyeva, whose husband, Seiran Saliyev, was arrested, spoke about the extreme punishment being dealt on a daily basis there.
She described how one person who dared to protest was later found mutilated: "We saw people disappear without a trace.
"They load people up in police vans and cart them off to Russian prisons.
"In Crimea, they are specifically arresting the most noble, courageous, and morally strong men.
"The children caught up in this story are the most vulnerable and defenceless creatures.
"Some of the children are disabled; some have serious illnesses."
Torture is being used by Russia’s secret service, the FSB, to extract ‘confessions’ with ‘trials’ based solely on anonymous ‘witnesses’, warns the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Labelling Crimea as an occupied territory in a new report, it slams grave abuses carried out “in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine”.
Russia has refused the OHCHR's request to conduct a mission in person to Crimea and monitor firsthand the treatment dealt out to detainees.
Instead, the organisation has interviewed victims of alleged human rights violations in Crimea via remote montoring.
WHY DID RUSSIA ANNEX CRIMEA?
The conflict in 2014 was the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War which escalated after Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power after violent protests.
Forces backed by Moscow, seized control of the Crimea, which has a Russian-speaking majority, and the people voted to join Russia in a referendum which was deemed illegal by Ukraine and the West.
The region has been hotly-contested for centuries with Russia annexing Crimea during the reign of Catherine the Great in 1783 and it remained part of Russia until 1954.
It was given autonomous republic status within Russia after the Bolshevik revolution.
During World War II it was occupied by the Nazis.
Josef Stalin accused many Ukrainians of collaborating with the Nazis and deported millions en masse to Central Asia and Siberia towards the end of the war.
They were only allowed to return after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine.
Tensions continued though and local Russian communities tried to assert sovereignty and increase ties with Russia.
Another source of tension has been the presence of the Russian fleet in the port of Sevastopol.
Both countries had agreed to allow the Black Sea Fleet to remain until 2017.
But after the election of the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych as president in 2010, Ukraine agreed to extend the lease by 25 years beyond 2017, in return for cheaper Russian gas.
Both international human rights law and international humanitarian law prohibit "torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment", it said.
It reported that those nabbed by authorities are denied access to lawyers, including when they've been "abducted by police".
"OHCHR received information that victims were coerced to self-incriminate, testify against others or provide DNA samples outside the standard framework for doing so," it adds.
Courts continue to deliver guilty verdicts in high-profile cases in which the fair trial guarantees of the accused might not have been fully respected.
"At least 10 people (all men) were convicted almost exclusively based on anonymous witness testimony," it added.
Its officials have also verified cases of "deliberate hindrance and harassment of practising lawyers who defended the rights of their clients in high-profile cases investigated by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in Crimea".
The disturbing allegations follow a report in the Sun Online of Putin's secret prison in eastern Ukraine, where victims are allegedly electrocuted and sexually abused in a torture chamber.
Ruslan Zakharov, 31, claimed he was taken to the basement of the Izolyatsia prison in Donetsk, a Russian-controlled city, after being accused of being a spy in 2019.
He told the Telegraph: “It shakes you all up so hard: half of your body goes numb.
“You think they’re going to kill you: you feel helpless. You think you’re alone and no one will come to your rescue.”
Alleged victims claimed inmates were left on hanging racks, waterboarded and forced to fight each other.
The men and women held at the prison have sued Russia and Ukraine at the European Court of Human Rights.
Mr Zakharov said the captors would smack him with a live wire as they "beat the truth out of him".
RUSSIA AND UKRAINE AT WAR
RUSSIA and the Ukraine have remained technically at war since 2014.
The conflict was triggered by the Ukrainian Revolution – when an uprising overthrew the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.
Vladimir Putin's forces annexed the region of Crimea from Ukraine in a move which was widely condemned by the West.
The conflict then spiralled when pro-Russian groups in Eastern Ukraine then took up arms against the state.
Russia gave their backing the separatist forces which formed breakaway republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin's forces then launched a military incursion into these regions as they gave their support to the rebels.
Almost seven years have now passed and the War in Donbas remains at a stalemate.
The US and Europe have accused Russia of blocking solutions to try to finally end the conflict.
“Russia must immediately cease its aggression in eastern Ukraine and end its occupation of Crimea,” said US diplomat Rodney Hunter.
"We call on Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, cease its support for its proxies and other armed groups and implement all of the commitments it made under the Minsk agreements.”
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