Thursday, March 30

“Every inch of me was in agony”

Vitaly Oliia’s dramatic account of how he was captured by Russian forces and endured “subhuman conditions” it is another consequence of the horror of the war in Ukraine, which is now approaching seven months.

Oliia, 40, told ‘The Kyiv Independent’ that she was subjected to several rounds of physical and psychological torture. The resident of Kozacha Lopan, in Kharkov, approximately 4 kilometers from the Russian border, was captured due to his previous service in the Ukrainian army, which led to his captivity in two separate places.

The man recalled receiving a severe blow to the back of the head and breaking his ribs. He was then dragged to a torture chamber inside the Kozacha Lopan railway station, ‘The Kyiv Independent’ reported.

Oliia said she was blindfolded and her hands tied before more Russians kicked her in the abdomen.

They then proceeded to pull down his pants and underwear. “I felt something stick to my penis,” she said, adding that a wire was wrapped around his right thigh, leading to an hour of repeated electrocution.

Every time he regained consciousness, the enemy continued to deal damage. Oliia said they poured water on his burns, which further increased the amount of pain he endured. “He was indescribable”, he told ‘The Kyiv Independent’, “every inch of me was in agony”.

On Tuesday, September 20, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine posted on Telegram that prosecutors from the Kharkov region’s Dergachy District Prosecutor’s Office conducted an inspection of two basements in the Kozacha Lopan village of Oliia.

“The occupants set up prisons in the basements of the train station and in a local store,” authorities said, according to an English translation. “The Russian Army Forcibly Detained People, Subjected Them To Torture, Physical And Psychological Violence”.

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In another Telegram report a day later, the officials said that prosecutors from the Kharkiv region’s Kupyan District Prosecutor’s Office verified that Russian forces set up a torture chamber during the occupation.

The town of Oliia was liberated on 9/11, but the trauma lives on. “I never go beyond the house next door, that’s enough for me,” he told ‘The Kyiv Independent’. “Day or night, whenever I hear a car coming down the road, I instantly become alert.”

“Basement, cages and a lot of pain: this is prison-torture in the liberated Kupyansk,” revealed Pravda Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister, about cages also found in the Kharkov region. The message on her social network profile was accompanied by images of horror: Putin’s torture cages in Ukraine.

The photos show a basement with metal dungeons where Russian soldiers kept their prisoners and where torture took place, adding to the long list of war crimes committed by Moscow since the invasion last February.

“This painting is found in all the liberated territories,” says Gerashchenko. “Russian slaves who take pleasure in abusing free people. Russia must be defeated,” she added.

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