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Russian army officer admits: Our troops tortured Ukrainians. He describes how the events happened

Russian army officer admits: Our troops tortured Ukrainians. He describes how

Konstantin Yefremov, the most senior Russian officer to speak out about the war in Ukraine, told the BBC in an exclusive interview that Russia now sees him as a traitor and defector.

In one place in southern Ukraine, he said, "the interrogations, the torture went on for about a week. Every day, at night, sometimes twice a day."

Yefremov tried to resign from the army many times, but he ended up being fired for refusing to return to Ukraine. Now he has fled Russia.

He was in Ukraine at the beginning of the war in the region of Zaporizhzhia, including the city of Melitopol.

The former top lieutenant has agreed to testify about the crimes he says he witnessed there, including the torture and ill-treatment of Ukrainian prisoners. On February 10, 2022, Yefremov says he arrived in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia nine years ago. He was the head of a demining unit of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division - and was usually stationed in Chechnya, in Russia's North Caucasus. He and his men were sent to participate in "military training," he says.

"At that time, no one believed that there would be a war. Everyone thought that this was just an exercise. I'm sure even the senior officers didn't know," declared Yefremov.

Yefremov insists he is "against war." On February 27, three days after the Russian invasion, he says he and his men were ordered to move north from occupied Crimea. They left for the city of Melitopol.

The next 10 days were spent at an airport, which had been captured by Russian troops. He describes the looting he witnessed.

"Soldiers and officers grabbed everything they could. They climbed all the planes and went through all the buildings. One soldier took a lawnmower. He said proudly: "I will take this house and cut the grass near our barracks . Buckets, axes, bicycles, they threw it all into their trucks. "So many things had to be lowered to fit into the vehicles," he said.

For a month and a half, he and eight soldiers under his command guarded a Russian artillery unit there.

"The whole time we slept outside. We were so hungry that we started hunting for rabbits and pheasants," he recalls.

Konstantin Yefremov's group moved to maintain what he describes as a "logistics headquarters" in April - in the town of Bilmak, north-east of Melitopol. There, he says he witnessed the interrogation and mistreatment of Ukrainian prisoners.

Source: BBC


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