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Meduza went to a Ukrainian prison colony for Russian POWs Here’s what we saw

Source: Meduza

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been going on for almost 11 months. The number of prisoners of war (POWs) held by both sides is still unknown. Experts believe there are thousands. Ukrainian servicemen have spoken repeatedly about torture, beatings, and violence in Russian captivity. Russian officials have not responded to such claims. Ukraine, unlike Russia, has granted the UN access to POWs and has launched investigations into known cases of mistreatment. Most Russian prisoners of war are held in special camps in Ukraine, which are visited by representatives of international human rights organizations. Meduza managed to see one of the camps in western Ukraine, where prisoners who fought in the Russian army — as well as in formations controlled by the self-proclaimed LNR and DNR — are being held. This is a photo report from the camp.

Regular prisoners have been moved out of the colony where Russian POWs are held, a measure stipulated by the Geneva Conventions
Bags filled with prisoners’ possessions
The total number of prisoners in the camp was not disclosed
Part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was in the camp before the war, when ordinary prisoners were held in the colony
The barracks where the prisoners live. Conditions in the camp are monitored by representatives of the Red Cross who visit regularly
POWs who were seriously wounded and lost one leg each. On the left is a resident of Donetsk who was taken during mobilization in the self-proclaimed DNR and sent to the front immediately afterwards. On the right is a contract serviceman from Kaliningrad
POWs work. These prisoners are making paper bags. The work is paid, and they can use their salary to buy things at the local store or for an extra phone call
The prisoners themselves cook, and three meals a day are provided for them
Ukraine plans to exchange most of the prisoners in the colony. However, criminal proceedings have been opened against some in connection with war crimes
If there are delays in escorting the prisoners, the guards face them against the wall. Afterwards, they’re led into the next room
An old wire phone in the colony. However, prisoners contact their relatives using voice over IP (up to 15 minutes a day)
Washed prison clothing
Russian prisoners in the recreation room. They can watch TV or read a book (in Ukrainian). A library and chess are also available to the prisoners, and there is a church on the colony’s grounds

Photography by Mykhailo Palinchak. Edited by Evgeny Feldman.

Translation by Ned Garvey

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