“Russian missiles cross into Poland and kill two people”

Both Russia and Ukraine tortured prisoners of war, UN says


3 minute readNovember 15, 20226:54 AM ESTLast Updated 7 hours ago

  • Summary
  • UN team interviewed more than 100 prisoners on each side
  • ‘Vast majority’ of Ukrainians allege mistreatment by Russians
  • Examples include dog attacks, electric shocks, sexual violence
  • On Ukraine, ‘credible allegations’ of summary executions
  • Monitoring team intends to visit Kherson next

GENEVA, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The U.N. human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday that both Russia and Ukraine have tortured prisoners of war during the nearly nine-month conflict, citing examples including the use of electric shocks and forced nudity.

The U.N.’s Ukraine-based monitoring team based its findings on interviews with more than 100 prisoners of war on each side of the conflict since April. The interviews with Ukrainian prisoners of war were conducted after their release, since Russia did not grant access to detention sites, it said.

Matilda Bogner, head of the monitoring mission, told a Geneva press briefing that the “vast majority” of Ukrainian prisoners they interviewed held by Russian forces reported torture and ill-treatment. She gave examples of dog attacks, mock executions, electric shocks with Tasers and military phones and sexual violence.

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Bogner, who is one of the U.N. interviewers and spoke to journalists via videolink from Ukraine, said the treatment was aimed at intimidating and humiliating them. One man in a penal colony near Olenivka told the team that members of Russian-affiliated armed groups “attached wires to my genitalia and nose and shocked me. They simply had fun and were not interested in my replies to their questions.”

Russia’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, denies torture or other forms of maltreatment of POWs.

On the Ukrainian side, Bogner reported “credible allegations” of summary executions of Russian prisoners, noting that no progress has yet been seen in Ukrainian authorities’ investigations into these cases.

Other Russian prisoners reported poor and humiliating conditions of transport and of being packed into trucks or vans naked, with their hands tied behind their backs. The U.N. team said it had also documented cases of so-called “welcome beatings” at a penal colony.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Kyiv has previously said it checks all information regarding the treatment of POWs and will investigate any violations and take appropriate legal action.

Asked to compare the scale of the abuses by both sides, Bogner said the mistreatment of Ukrainian prisoners by Russians was “fairly systematic” whereas she said it was “not systematic” for Ukraine to mistreat Russian soldiers.

Most of the abuses by Kyiv against Russian POWs were limited to three internment facilities, she said, and were more common during the initial phase of capture.

The team of monitors plans to visit the areas around Kherson, the city that Moscow surrendered last week, to look for additional evidence of abuses among the general population.

U.N. monitors have already documented summary executions and between 70-80 cases of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions in the area, she said.

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Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Dan Paleschuk in Kyiv Editing by Alison Williams and Raissa Kasolowsky

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Solar farms in Alabama, Idaho, Illinois ordered to pay total of $1.3 million for environmental violations

Four solar energy companies that built solar farms in Alabama, Idaho, and Illinois agreed to pay a total of $1.3 million for polluting groundwater and violating construction permits.

Associated Press

Four companies that developed solar energy facilities in Alabama, Idaho and Illinois have agreed to pay a total of $1.3 million for violating construction permits and rules for handling groundwater, authorities said Monday.

A statement by the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said the companies used a common construction contractor. In each case, the government alleged companies failed to take steps to control runoff water. In Alabama and Idaho, sediment from construction sites got into nearby waterways, the government said.

The cases involved AL Solar A LLC, which built a solar farm near LaFayette, Alabama; American Falls Solar LLC, which owned a site near American Falls, Idaho; Prairie State Solar LLC, owner of a development in Perry County, Illinois; and Big River Solar LLC, which had a development in White County, Illinois, according to the statement.


The solar farm owners are all subsidiaries of large international companies, the government said.

AL Solar will pay $500,000 in civil penalties to state and federal regulators, it said, and American Falls will pay a civil penalty of $416,500 to the federal government. The Illinois sites remain under construction, and officials there have to follow the rules for the remainder of the work.


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