Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kiev Junta War Crimes

Kiev Junta War Crimes

by Stephen Lendman

A new Foundation for the Study of Democracy (FSD) report is titled "War crimes of the armed forces and security forces of Ukraine: torture of the Donbass region residents."

It provides graphic evidence of horrendous Kiev war crimes Western media ignore.

Earlier articles discussed Kiev's dirty war. It deliberately targeted civilian neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

It used of cluster munitions, white phosphorous and other chemical weapons, as well as cold-blooded murder of hundreds of captives.

Most were abducted civilians. They were brutally tortured, murdered and secretly buried. Eyewitnesses exposed the crimes.

FSD's report provides more damning evidence of junta torture, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Over 100 former regime prisoners were interviewed - ones lucky to be alive. An unknown number of captives were tortured to death. Many others continue being held.

Ukraine's National Guard, other military units, internal affairs ministry and security service (SBU) bear full responsibility for high crimes. 

So does Washington for empowering and supporting them.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects fundamental freedoms at all times - including during "war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation."

It's been in force since 1953. It established a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It adjudicates for anyone claiming lost rights - including nation-states and individuals.

It's the only human rights body of its kind. ECHR says "the State is responsible for the actions of all of its agencies, such as the police, security forces, other law enforcement officials, and any other State bodies who hold the individual under their control, whether they act under orders, or on their own accord."

Article 3 states "(n)o one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Clear evidence shows Kiev culpability. ECHR so far failed to act. Whether it plans to remains to be seen.

Liliya Rodionova is Committee for Refugees and Prisoners of War (Donetsk) deputy head. She commented on junta released prisoners. Her remarks make disturbing reading as follows:

"Almost everyone released comes back with their ribs and legs broken and teeth ripped out. There is not a single person with no marks of beating." 

"Treatment does not begin until right before the exchange. There is a guy with eight gunshot wounds. Even at the hospital, he was beaten." 

"They stuck fingers in his wounds. They use pliers to rip out teeth and beat right in the wounds. Many come back with fractured skulls." 

"One of the torture tools is an awl that they use for stabbing prisoners. Lately, they have been seizing ordinary people, not members of the self-defence forces." 

"They use gunpowder and electroshock to torture people. They brand them." 

"Some were thrown into a pit with dead bodies, crushed with a shovel bucket, had a smouldering iron stuck in their mouth." 

"People were kept in iron containers with no source of oxygen. The torture techniques are sophisticated and brutal." 

"They leave the victims maimed. Those in need of medical treatment, even with diabetes, receive (none)." 

"Prisoners from our side can be told by the color of their skin. It is grayish." 

"Each time an exchange is to take place, we draw up a list of acute patients, but the other side won’t release them."

Junta torturers are US allies - installed by coup replacing Ukrainian democratic governance.

Washington has a sordid history of allying with ruthless despots worldwide for its own self-interest.

In November 2014, SBU operatives tortured Ukrainian citizen Alexander Agafonov to death. His wife, Yana, commented saying:

"They have beaten him to death simply. When they came, they took him away to torture him." 

"When they brought his body back, (his) heels were blue. (His) were blue." 

'He's got some traces of punctures on his hands. I don’t know what they did to him, punctured him or drove the needles under his nails."

"There were holes on his hands. Each bone has a hole in it. They tortured him like…when there was a real war no one has tortured people the way they tortured him."

Evidence FSD obtained showed prisoners were electroshocked.

They were savagely beaten with iron bars, baseball bats, sticks, rifle butts, bayonet knives and rubber batons. Abuse continued for days.

They were stabbed, had ribs, arms and legs broken, were branded with red-hot objects, and were shot in different parts of their bodies.

Pliers ripped out teeth. Civilians were targeted like combatants. Anyone opposing junta rule remains vulnerable. 

Abducted women were repeatedly raped. Some victims had Nazi swastikas and SS symbols burned into their flesh.

They were held for days in freezing temperatures. Denied food and medical treatment.

Force-fed psychotropic substances causing extreme pain. Most endured mock firing squads.

Their family members were threatened with rape and death.

One released prisoners said junta operatives "attached wires from a battery to my hand, poured water and switched on the current." 

"I blacked out several times and just as I came to, they would pour water and after some time continued the questioning."

Another victim said "(t)hey hit (him) in the groin with a shocker and added voltage, because it kept getting more and more painful." 

"It hurt so bad. I fell down, shouting: Just shoot me, why are you torturing me? I do not know anything."

"Then they started hitting me on the legs and on the shoulders with a hammer, an ordinary hammer. They kept doing it until I lost consciousness."

Other released prisoners said the following:

"They executed the beatings in groups of three to four people, used electro-shock devices, made us kneel with bags on our heads, and fired their guns near the ear." 

"Then their commanding officer came, took us and put on a chain in a pit, handcuffed."

"I could not stand on my feet, nor could I lie down, so I was hanging on that chain because my ribs and fingers were broken."

"The (Nazi infested) Azov battalion officers arrested me in Mariupol. I felt machine gun fire over my head." 

"After that, they drove me to the Mariupol airport, where they tried to force me to give testimony by putting a plastic bag on my head that did not let any air get to me." 

"They used a shocker on me and wanted to throw me into a pit filled with corpses."

"I saw a guy standing waist-deep in a hole in the ground and being buried with a shovel bucket and then the truck run over him."

FSD's report makes disturbing reading. It called torture in Ukraine more serious than what it was able to document. 

Horrific abuse made some victims "unrecognizable." They were beaten to pulps. "Every part of their bodies was beaten with meat hanging from their bones," said FSD.

Unknown numbers continue enduring horrific treatment - much like what CIA operatives inflict on victims in global black sites.

Torture is official US policy - complicit with rogue regimes like Kiev fascists. 

Media scoundrels remain silent. Innocent victims suffer horrifically.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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