Russia opens criminal cases into alleged torture of its soldiers by Ukraine

Ukraine has said it checks all information regarding the treatment of prisoners of war and will investigate any violations and take appropriate legal action.

Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)
Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)

Russia's Investigative Committee said on Thursday it was opening criminal cases into Ukrainian servicemen's alleged torture of their Russian counterparts as Moscow continues its military campaign in Ukraine.

The committee, which probes major crimes, said some Russian soldiers had been captured by Ukrainian forces in the Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv regions and held illegally by Ukraine's security service.

"Russians were subjected to physical violence and torture in order to force them to give false explanations about the actual conditions of their illegal detention on the premises of the Security Service of Ukraine, as well as on (Russia's) special military operation," it said in a statement.

Reuters could not independently verify the committee's allegations.

Ukraine has said it checks all information regarding the treatment of prisoners of war and will investigate any violations and take appropriate legal action.

 People attend a 'Stop Genocide of Ukraine People' rally and protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Times Square in New York City, US, April 9, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON) People attend a 'Stop Genocide of Ukraine People' rally and protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Times Square in New York City, US, April 9, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON)

Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee, also ordered a probe on Thursday into Ukrainian forces' alleged shelling of civilians from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic as they evacuated through the neighboring Kharkiv region.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbor's military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.

Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.