Former Russian soldier exposes torture of Ukrainian POWs

Konstantin Efremov
Konstantin Efremov

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Senior Lieutenant Konstantin Yefremov fled Russia in December 2022. Prior to that, he spent three months in occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

“I personally saw how our troops torture Ukrainian soldiers…,” said Yefremov.

“I feel relieved that I can finally talk about what I saw.”

According to Yefremov, he served in Chechnya as part of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, and two weeks before the start of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, he was sent to Crimea for “military exercises.”

The former soldier claims that he tried to flee when he learned that he would be sent to Ukraine, but he was afraid of punishment for desertion and returned to his unit. He stated that on May 23, 2022,  he was able to leave his unit and quit the service. Eventually, Russian human rights group helped him leave Russia. Currently Yefremov is in Mexico.

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Yefremov said that he witnessed his superiors torture three Ukrainian soldiers who were captured in Bilmak, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, in April 2022.

“During interrogations, they were beaten for a whole week, every day, sometimes even at night,” he described the abuse.

According to him, having learned that one of the prisoners was a sniper, the Russians beat him with a wooden bat, shot him in the arm and leg. They also took off his pants and threatened to rape him with a broom handle and bringing another Russian soldier who would rape him, and then they would send the video footage to the his girlfriend.

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Yefremov also spoke about the scale of looting by Russian troops, who stole “everything –from cans of food to washing machines and bicycles.”

The BBC called Yefremov “the highest-ranking officer” in the Russian army who spoke openly about the crimes of Russian invasion forces in Ukraine.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine