Ukrainian authorities said they have found a Russian torture chamber in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) discovered the room, which the Russians nicknamed the “basement,” in the recently liberated village of Lyptsi, the agency said in a statement.
It was set up on premises that were occupied by the so-called “people’s militia” of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), a Russian-backed breakaway state in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, according to the statement.
Supposed photos of the torture chamber that were released by the SSU showed what appeared to be a makeshift electric chair and detention cells.
“In the ‘jail,’ militants of the … LNR and Russian military servicemen unlawfully imprisoned locals who supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity and refused to cooperate with the enemy,” the agency alleged in its statement.
“According to an investigation, [Russians] brutally tortured prisoners, after which they were forcibly taken to the territory of Russia,” the SSU added.
An ongoing investigation is attempting to determine all of the victims and criminals involved.
It is part of a criminal proceeding by the SSU office in Kharkiv and Ukrainian police that is under the procedural supervision of the Dergachivskyi District Prosecutor’s Office, according to the SSU.
“All the collected evidence of war crimes committed by Russian servicemen will be later handed over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague so that no war criminal escapes justice,” the agency said.
The discovery of the alleged torture chamber in Lyptsi comes nearly two weeks after a mass grave containing the bodies of 447 people was found in Izium, Ukraine, following the city’s liberation from Russian occupiers.
Most of the dead showed signs of violent death, while 30 of them presented traces of torture and summary execution, according to Ukrainian authorities.
United Nations investigators said in a report that was delivered to the organization’s Human Rights Council Friday that they found “consistent accounts of torture and ill treatment” in Ukraine.
Russia continues to deny torture or other forms of ill treatment toward prisoners of war.
The “cruel treatment and torture” of non-combatants and military captives during conflicts is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions.
“Torture or inhuman treatment” and “wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health” in conflicts are considered war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.