Screams from soldiers being tortured, overflowing cells, inhuman conditions, a regime of intimidation and murder. Inedible gruel, no communication with the outside world, and days marked off with a home-made calendar written on a box of tea.
This, according to a prisoner who was there, is what conditions are like inside Olenivka, the notorious detention centre outside Donetsk where dozens of Ukrainian soldiers burned to death in a horrific episode late last month while in Russian captivity.
Anna Vorosheva – a 45-year-old Ukrainian entrepreneur – gave a harrowing account to the Observer of her time inside the jail. She spent 100 days in Olenivka after being detained in mid-March at a checkpoint run by the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) in eastern Ukraine.
She had been trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to Mariupol, her home city, which the Russian army had besieged. The separatists arrested her and drove her in a packed police van to the prison, where she was held until early July on charges of “terrorism”.
Now recovering in France, Vorosheva said she had no doubt Russia “cynically and deliberately” murdered Ukrainian prisoners of war. “We are talking about absolute evil,” she said. [Continue reading…]