According to Ukrainian reports, 25 torture chambers were discovered in the liberated Kharkiv. Some of the detainees were given electric shocks, others had their fingers broken, the head of the regional police said. The mobile phone may have been fatal to the killed Russian soldiers in Makijiwka. The Ukraine update: what happened today.
Since the liberation of the area around the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv from Russian occupation, the police say they have discovered 25 torture camps there. In the camps, among other things, Russian troops held and tortured civilians under inhumane conditions, regional police chief Volodymyr Tymoshko said on Facebook on Monday. Some of the prisoners were given electric shocks, others had their fingers broken.
The area around Kharkiv had been occupied by Russian troops for months. They only withdrew in early September after a Ukrainian counter-offensive. Since then, 920 bodies of civilians, including 25 children, have been discovered in the liberated region, Tymoschko said. They were killed by Russian soldiers.
According to investigations by the Ukrainian authorities so far, Russian armed forces have also committed war crimes in other occupied territories. After the withdrawal of Russian units from the Kiev suburb of Bucha, the bodies of more than 400 people were discovered there. Most of them had died violent deaths. The investigations are ongoing.
Russia has admitted high casualties in the Donetsk region: 63 soldiers were killed in a Ukrainian attack in Makiivka, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. According to an insider from the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk to the Russian state news agency TASS, Russian soldiers have reportedly given their location to the Ukrainian army because they used their mobile phones on New Year’s Eve. The Ukrainian rocket attack on the soldiers’ quarters in Makiivka was possible because the soldiers who had just arrived used their mobile phones intensively.
Several journalists supporting the Russian-launched offensive criticized the Russian military command on Telegram for not taking the phones away from soldiers on the ground. Another mistake was that they were in a single building.
There is conflicting information about those killed. According to media reports, they should be reservists. Moscow speaks of dozens of dead, Kyiv, however, of hundreds.
In view of the repeated Russian drone attacks on Ukrainian cities in recent days, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns of a possible war of attrition. “We have information that Russia is planning a long-term attack by Shahed drones,” said Zelenskyy in his daily video address on Monday evening. Russia wants to achieve wear and tear with it. “The exhaustion of our people, our air defenses, our energy,” he said. “But we must and will do everything we can to ensure that this goal of the terrorists fails like all the others.”
The Russian military uses so-called kamikaze drones which, at the end of their flight, descend vertically on their target. The relatively slow Iranian-made drones are an easy target for anti-aircraft defenses, but the large numbers of deployed unmanned aerial vehicles and constant air surveillance pose a major challenge for Ukrainian air defenses. Then there is the cost factor – a drone made from cheap parts has to be shot down with expensive weapon systems.
“Only two days have passed since the beginning of the year,” said Zelenskyy. “And already the number of drones shot down over Ukraine is over 80.” The Russian military mainly use the drones against Ukrainian cities in order to cause as much damage as possible to the energy network there.
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