“Torture” sites discovered in Kherson

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Ukraine said yesterday it had identified four locations where Russian forces tortured detainees in Kherson before Moscow withdrew its troops from the southern Ukrainian city.

Since the Russian army withdrew on November 11 after occupying the city for eight months, Kyiv has accused Moscow forces of carrying out abuses on a “horrible” scale.

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The attorney general’s office said officials inspected “four premises” where Russian troops were “illegally detaining people and brutally torturing them.”

Russian forces have set up “pseudo-law enforcement agencies” in detention centers in Kherson as well as a police station, it said in a statement.

Pieces of rubber truncheons, a wooden bat, an incandescent lamp and “a device with which the occupiers tortured civilians with electricity” were found, prosecutors said.

“Law enforcement continues to collect evidence” of what Ukrainian officials have called “crimes” committed by the Russian military, the statement added.

Russian authorities also left papers documenting the administration of the detention sites, the prosecutor added.

Last week, Ukrainian mediator Dmytro Lubynets called the scale of torture uncovered in Kherson “horrible”.

AFP spoke to a Kherson resident last week who said he spent weeks in detention where he was beaten and electrocuted by Russian and pro-Russian forces.

Meanwhile, Russia said yesterday that the bombing of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant risked triggering a serious nuclear accident and repeated accusations, denied by Kyiv, that Ukrainian forces were to blame.

The Kremlin has called on “all countries in the world” to pressure Kyiv to stop attacks, for which Ukraine says Russia is responsible, Reuters reports.

Repeated shelling of the plant in southern Ukraine, which erupted again over the weekend, has raised concerns about the potential for a serious accident just 500 km (300 miles) from Chernobyl, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.

“The plant is at risk of a nuclear accident,” said Alexei Likhachev, director general of the Russian nuclear company Rosatom, quoted by Interfax. “We have been in negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) all night,” he said.

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