UN: Russia continues to torture and execute Ukrainian prisoners of war

ООН: Россия продолжает подвергать украинских военнопленных пыткам и казням

Conflict-related violence killed 429 civilians in Ukraine over three winter months. UN: Russia continues to torture and execute Ukrainian prisoners of war Peace and Security

The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has released new data on the torture of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian captivity and a sharp increase in the number of credible reports of executions of captured Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Torture of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian captivity

In a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine over the course of three winter months, Mission experts detailed information obtained during interviews with 60 recently released Ukrainian prisoners of war.

« Almost every Ukrainian prisoner of war we interviewed said that Russian soldiers or officials tortured him during captivity, repeatedly beat him, used electric shocks, threatened to shoot him, forced him to stand in difficult positions for long periods of time, and simulated executions. More than half have been sexually assaulted, said Danielle Bell, who heads the UN Monitoring Mission. “Most prisoners of war also spoke of the suffering they endured as a result of being denied contact with their families, adequate food and medical care.”

Violations Continue

Data on conditions in Russian captivity confirm previous information about torture and ill-treatment, deaths in custody, cases where prisoners were denied contact with the outside world, forced disappearances and terrible conditions of detention. Evidence from recently captured and released Ukrainian prisoners of war suggests that such abuses continue.

Execution of 32 prisoners of war

Except Moreover, between December 2023 and February 2024, the Mission recorded credible allegations of the execution of at least 32 Ukrainian prisoners of war in 12 separate incidents, significantly more than in any previous period. The Mission independently verified three incidents.

Torture of Russian prisoners of war

The report contains the results of a survey of 44 Russian military personnel who were in Ukrainian captivity. Some of them provided credible accounts of torture and ill-treatment on the road after their evacuation from the battlefield.

The situation in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine

The report details ongoing violence against civilians in Russian-occupied Ukraine, including the killing of civilians, arbitrary detention, and restrictions on freedom of expression.

Accusations of “collaboration”  

In government-controlled territory, the report highlights, the Ukrainian government continues to persecute and convict individuals for activities that they carried out under Russian occupation. It also mentions incidents of violence against representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Civilian casualties

Number of casualties among The civilian population remained high, with 429 civilians killed and 1,374 injured in conflict-related violence during the reporting period. A significant increase in rocket attacks and loitering munitions by the Russian Federation in late December and January led to a sharp increase in civilian casualties in areas distant from the front line, while the total number of civilian casualties remained comparable to the previous period.


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