”Plastic bags on face, electric shocks”: human rights activists tell of systemic torture of Ukrainians in Russia

Head of the Crimean Human Rights Group Olha Skrypnik during a Kyiv press conference has spoken of a systemic use of torture against Ukrainian citizens who are held as political prisoners by the Russian security forces.

”Indeed, we were afraid that in this case [the case of the so-called Crimean ”saboteurs ”], torture could be applied because, unfortunately, it is a constant practice of the security forces in [the Russian-occupied] Crimea and in other cases of our Ukrainian political prisoners. If you remember the case of Oleh Sentsov, Hennady Afanasiev has told exactly what torture techniques were used against him,” she said.

”We see almost the same methods if you remember the case of Oleksandr Kostenko and Andriy Kolomiets. They also named the same methods – duct tape, plastic bags over the face, electric shocks. That is, what we are seeing now is not the first time when the people who have become hostages of politically motivated cases reported almost the same kind of torture techniques. That is, we are now talking about a systemic practice, applied to the Ukrainians, who have essentially become the Kremlin`s hostages,” said Skrypnik.

Earlier, on August 10, the Russian FSB claimed that it prevented ”terrorist acts” in the occupied Crimea on critical infrastructure sites, which had allegedly been plotted by the Main Directorate of Military Intelligence of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Also, the FSB announced the elimination of ”Ukrainian network of agents” and the arrest of the ”saboteurs”. According to the Russian special services, ”one of the organizers of the prevented terrorist attacks is Yevgeny Panov, born in 1977, resident of Zaporizhya region, a member of the Main Directorate of Military Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, who has also been detained and now testifies.”

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