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Locked [Politics] Ukraine war: Bodies found amid reports of Russian atrocities in Kherson


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Ukraine says it has found the bodies of 63 civilians bearing signs of torture near the recently liberated city of Kherson. Russia has repeatedly denied committing atrocities in its invasion. But the BBC has spoken to two people who said they were held for more than a month in what are being described as "torture chambers".

At one police station in recently liberated Kherson, each cell tells its own story.

Some have clothes strewn everywhere, one has a burnt-out bed, another has dog bowls and rubbish strewn everywhere. In one, a Russian flag lies in the centre of the floor.

In cell number six is Anzhela's story.

It was here she spent 31 days with four other women after being captured by Russian soldiers in June.

Before the invasion of Ukraine in February, Anzhela, 49, was a TV presenter on a Telethon channel. By early March, armoured Russian convoys were entering her home city of Kherson.

As Russia's grip tightened around the regional capital, demonstrations were gradually crushed, and freedoms were eroded. In June, armed men entered Anzhela's home, separated her from her boyfriend, put a bag over her head and loaded her on to a bus.

It was from there Anzhela was taken to cell number six. 



"On the third floor, men were beaten," she recalls. "When the person is being tortured with electricity, you hear it. It is a peculiar sound.

"Men were screaming in pain."

After the Russians took Kherson, investigators say they rounded up people with connections to the Ukrainian military or partisans who'd protested against their occupation.

They claim to have found 11 illegal prisons and four torture chambers in Kherson after it was liberated. More than 700 people have been reported as missing.

It's feared they are either dead or have been illegally taken to Russian-occupied territories, or Russia itself.

And now Ukraine has announced the discovery of dozens of bodies with signs of torture near the city. Interior minister Denys Monastyrsky said the investigation into crimes there had only just begun, "so many more dungeons and burial places will be uncovered". 

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