Harrowing pictures of a Russian “torture dungeon” in liberated Kherson have been released by Ukraine – with gas masks and bottles of unidentified liquid among the items discovered. The disturbing discovery was made during a patrol of the city by Ukraine’s SBU secret service and national police officers, who were apparently tipped off by locals.
“Local patriots” who “refused to cooperate with the enemy” were interrogated at the facility, the Ukrainian government said.
A spokesperson added: “Kherson residents were interrogated and brutally tortured.
“During the inspection, torture law enforcement officers found objects that directly indicate signs of torture.”
There is as yet no indication as to why the gas masks were needed, while the bottles of liquid are being analyzed.
Wall markings from inmates were used to count the days the inmates were held.
Writing from a detainee on the wall of the hell chamber says: “Pray to God for us. God, give us strength. God, save and protect.”
There was also evidence that the Russians sought to clear away evidence before they fled Kherson.
“A series of investigative and operational measures is being carried out to document all the crimes of the occupiers, identify the culprits and bring them to justice,” said the Ukrainian government.
Russia was earlier this month forced into a humiliating retreat by Vladimir Putin’s forces from the provincial capital in the face of a powerful Ukrainian counteroffensive.
A feature of Russian retreats has been the discovery of torture chambers used by the occupiers.
There were scenes of jubilation in the streets as control of the city switched back to Ukraine.
(Additional reporting by Will Stewart)
(More to follow)