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Inside Putin’s torture chambers Occupied Ukraine is a world of beatings, electrocution and endless pain

"Toward the end he prayed it would end; that he would die and so not suffer anymore." Credit: Pierre Crom/Getty

"Toward the end he prayed it would end; that he would die and so not suffer anymore." Credit: Pierre Crom/Getty


March 3, 2023   7 mins

“Let’s call Vladimir Vladimirovich,” the man says with a laugh, as he opens the case and slowly uncoils a wire. Vitaliy Alseryuk can see the TA field telephone and he knows what’s coming. He knows, having served in communications in the army, that the machine carries hundreds of volts. He knows that the wire is about to be connected to his fingers, toes or perhaps his genitals. He knows the pain will be excruciating.

The TA field phone was invented by the Soviets in 1950 and was used by their Army in railways and mining. In post-Soviet times, though, especially during the Russian-Chechen wars, it became more useful as a means of torture. If you want to understand Russia’s gradual regression into brutal atavism, examine the changing uses of its field telephone. The Reckoning Project, a team of Ukrainian and international journalists and researchers who record and verify witness testimonies of war crimes and crimes against humanity, has discovered it in almost every detention site they have visited during the Russian occupation of Ukraine.

While the TA wire is unrolled, Alseryuk is beaten. The 36-year-old construction worker from Balakliya in the Kharkiv Oblast endured this routine for three months. He had joined the army in 2014, after the Russians first invaded — mainly because it was a well-paid local job. And he had given up his commission long before the all-out invasion on February 24, 2022. The fact that he was a veteran was enough for the Russians. Alseryuk was taken from his home in the outskirts of Balakliya and imprisoned in a basement until the region was liberated in September by the Ukrainian troops.

According to the The Reckoning Project’s Kharkiv unit, there were at least 27 detention and torture sites in that region alone. The team interviewed more than a dozen former prisoners and discovered that men and women alike were treated in identical manner: taken from their houses without explanations, handcuffed, blindfolded, and then brought into tiny, cold, wet and overcrowded cells. There, men in balaclavas would interrogate them until they acknowledged their connections to the Ukrainian army.

Then they were tortured.

Their captors were mainly Russian citizens — sometimes the National Guard or FSB would turn up. Generally, though, the guards were poorly equipped, mobilised men from the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. Sometimes there were no questions; sometimes the prisoners were just tortured. They would be beaten with batons or wooden sticks, shocked with electricity, and sometimes suffocated with gas masks. They would be kept for months without food or medical support. And no one knew where they were. Eventually some were freed — after it became clear even to their fastidiously sadistic captors that they had nothing to say. In truth, they probably realised this early on, but it was never about just information.

After the 2014 occupation of Crimea and the Donbas, Ukrainians knew that it was best for any activists, politicians, and independent journalists to leave the Russian controlled territories. But civilians could stay if they kept a low profile, which many did because they needed to take care of family, usually elderly parents.

This occupation is different. Russian soldiers have gone out of their way to seek out “disloyals”. Their definition is loose. Having a cousin in the army counts — though this doesn’t narrow victims down: according to official statistics around 40% of Ukrainians have a close relative serving in the army or law enforcement. Civil servants are also suspect — a common job in provincial towns — along with firefighters, schoolteachers, NGO workers, or even those who are physically fit and of fighting age. Local collaborators are helping the Russians: flying the Ukrainian flag before the war is enough to get you rounded up.

Things were particularly brutal in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. After the Russians invaded, in March 2022, residents would attend weekly peaceful rallies against the occupation. Olga, a 36-year-old photographer and SMM specialist was an enthusiastic participant. She lost her job and started helping local volunteers buy and deliver humanitarian aid to the residents of the city. She attended the rallies and kept Ukrainian symbols at home, as well as raising money on social networks. Shortly before her arrest, she took a photograph of the Antoniv bridge and the pontoon crossing but — crucially — did not supply the photo to the Ukrainian authorities.

On September 29, she was sorting food packages with two other volunteers when five men in military uniforms and balaclavas, carrying assault rifles, broke in and abducted all three of them. They were taken to the basement of building 15 on Pylyp Orlyk street. Olga was held there for 24 days, and subjected to five or so interrogations, during which time, she was shocked and physically abused.

Her captors spoke Russian, but with Ukrainian accents, which led her to believe they were soldiers from the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. During the first torture, two clamps were attached to her body through which an electric current was passed. The pain was so bad, she cannot say how long the torture lasted. The next day, they showed her postcards and bracelets with Ukrainian symbols on them that they’d found in her house. That day, they had decided simply to toy with her. Her interrogator told her that he wasn’t in the mood to torture her, but she could rely on him tomorrow. “You’re a cunt,” he spat at her as he left.

Over the course of lengthy and various interrogations, Olga was beaten across the head and ribs, smacked around the head, and electrocuted. They were asking the same questions over and over: “Did she ever go to Ukrainian-controlled territory? What did she buy there? Where did she get the money?” They also forced her to strip to the waist and were about to place clamps on her nipples and earlobes, until one of her captors decided it might kill her. She believes she was kept in detention — unlike other volunteers, who were released — because of her frank pro-Ukrainian position and the photos of the bridge and the pontoon in her camera. For the occupiers, this was a “crime” more serious than volunteering. Taken again to the basement for questioning, they put clamps on her fingers and the electrocution lasted longer than ever. She vomited from the pain.

The Russians weren’t fussy about who they tortured. They even brutalised priests. They took the Abbot of Kherson’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church one day after he was falsely accused of inciting hate speech. Six or so men arrived at his church and spirited him off. During the interrogation, he was asked about everything from church hierarchy to the contacts in his phone. Then, his interrogators beat him, put a cap over his face and wrapped it with tape, making it almost impossible to breathe; later his hands were taped so tightly that he lost all feeling in his fingers. The abbot was shoved across a table and beaten on his knees with a hammer, and then on his chest with a baton. He fell in and out of consciousness. At the end of the interrogation, he was told that Ukrainian media had already reported his death. Eventually, he was forced to write a statement agreeing to cooperate with the Russians, and freed.

When I arrive in Kherson, the Russians have gone from the city, but are shelling it constantly and viciously from across the river. In an apartment, just off the city centre, I meet Oleksandr Diakov, a 48-year-old entrepreneur. He limps across the small living room to greet me — a problem with his leg was significantly worsened after his capture by the Russians. He is clearly traumatised and exhausted — though anger at his treatment seeps through as he recounts his ordeal.

He, along with five friends, had been passing information to the Ukrainian security services. And the Russians had got wind of it and were tracking them down. Two were captured first. And Oleksandr managed to evade them until he was eventually caught, along with another two, after the Russians bugged the apartment they were meeting in. “I was taken to pretrial detention centre, which is where the torture began,” he tells me, starting to silently weep. “The head of the centre had the nickname ‘Evil’ — he was totally sick. He would get drunk and torture people just for fun.” Evil used electricity. He would ask people if they knew the Russian national anthem,and if they didn’t, he would shock them. Every time he switched on the electric current, he made people shout “glory to Russia”, “glory to Putin”, “or glory to [Russian Defence Minister] Shoigu”. They would be electrocuted, denied food, cigarettes and sleep. Whatever took Evil’s fancy.

There were 21 cells in the centre. Most of them were designed only for three people but the Russians generally kept six or seven in each one. Diakov’s cell number was 19. He starts to cry again as he forces himself to relive the torture. “I counted 17 days there, sleeping on the floor without a mattress. It was so humid that many people have since developed lung problems. There was not enough air to breathe. One of the other prisoners was a policeman who was also tortured with electric shocks. He had two wounds from where they attached the cables that started to rot and develop abscesses.”

The FSB were especially brutal. They were angry at Oleksandr for giving information about not only military targets, but also where FSB were sleeping and living. Two men in balaclavas would interrogate him — one always sitting. They put a thick hat on his face so he couldn’t see them. That was taken off for the torture, when they would cover his face with a wet T-shirt and start on it with the electricity. And then they would beat him, taking care to pay particular attention to his bad leg. So bad was the beating, he started bleeding internally and by the end he couldn’t walk down the stairs.

Toward the end he prayed it would end; that he would die and so not suffer anymore. “I never lost hope that Ukraine would come and release us,” he says. “We could hear the Ukrainian artillery. But they took longer than we expected.” Eventually his leg got so bad his captors took him to a hospital. There, he had surgery and spent a month recovering. The Russians gave him back his phone and told him to install Telegram and to be online constantly so they could track him. They also warned him that if he tried to escape, they would find him quickly. But he slipped out of the hospital and hid for several weeks until the Russians left the city.

Oleksandr’s story — like Olga’s and the priest’s — is not unique; it’s not even uncommon any more. With every territory that is liberated from Moscow, more of these types of stories emerge, variegated in their details, alike in their brutality. The truth is simply that this is life under Russian occupation. This is what the Russians do everywhere they go. This is what they do to their own people inside Russia.

It is just one reason why the Ukrainians refuse to surrender. They know what will come if they do. They’ve seen it too many times already. The war raging in Ukraine is over not only national sovereignty, but also the very essence of decency — for the right to live unmolested and unabused. They can never stop fighting.

 

David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

dpatrikarakos

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Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago

This was unspeakably grim to read.
I ask myself how i would endure such circumstances. Honestly, i don’t know. But i thank Unherd for bringing it to our attention.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Rosa Mechoni
Rosa Mechoni
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Can we have a report on how Americans do it?

Liam F
Liam F
1 year ago
Reply to  Rosa Mechoni

probabaly just as badly. What’s your point?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam F

Rosa’s point is apologetics by means of whataboutery.

Ron Bo
RB
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam F

I disagree Liam.Read my post above.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam F

Rosa’s point is apologetics by means of whataboutery.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam F

I disagree Liam.Read my post above.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rosa Mechoni

They stripped them naked, savaged them with dogs, forced them to masturbate in front of hysterical nurses, then waterboarded them, and then claimed none of that is torture.

Still it was lucky they didn’t get the full ‘ Soldier Blue’ nonsense, breasts cut off, then scrapped out to make tobacco pouches etc.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rosa Mechoni

I think you will find that generally the Americans don’t do it.
During World War 2 we Brits and Americans realised intelligence was gathered more efficiently by humane questioning.There will always be exceptions but this general rule applies.
German troops did not want to surrender to the Soviets but rather to the Allies.
Russia hasn’t changed and neither has its armed forces.

Simon Latham
SL
Simon Latham
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

The Ukrainians (esp the Militias) enjoy torturing those of their countrymen with possible connections to anything Russian. It is like the worst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland multiplied many times over.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

Thanks for your evidence!

willful knowledge
willful knowledge
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

Do provide your confirmed sources.

John Mattingley
JM
John Mattingley
1 year ago

Let’s not have this “confirmed sources” midwit nonsense. We all know full well the Ukrainians have been torturing prisoners and civilians.

John Mattingley
JM
John Mattingley
1 year ago

Let’s not have this “confirmed sources” midwit nonsense. We all know full well the Ukrainians have been torturing prisoners and civilians.

Jonh MacClein
Jonh MacClein
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

“countryman” – you mean those Ukrainians who have gone to fight for Russia, the so called L/DPR guys?
The same people that love to torture “their countryman” for being loyal to Ukraine (as Ukrainians in Ukraine)
They are traitors and quick death is the best outcome they can hope for.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

Thanks for your evidence!

willful knowledge
WK
willful knowledge
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

Do provide your confirmed sources.

Jonh MacClein
Jonh MacClein
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

“countryman” – you mean those Ukrainians who have gone to fight for Russia, the so called L/DPR guys?
The same people that love to torture “their countryman” for being loyal to Ukraine (as Ukrainians in Ukraine)
They are traitors and quick death is the best outcome they can hope for.

Jack Reagan
Jack Reagan
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

If you read William Blum’s book ‘Killing Hope’ (Praised by the likes of Chomsky and Vidal), you will see how the USA has trained, funded and sponsored dictatorships for decades including including indiscriminate torture and murder. I’m no Russia apologist, Russia are undoubtedly involved in a number of human rights violations but to paint the Ukrainian situation as black and white is going down the wrong path Politics is much more nuanced

Simon Latham
Simon Latham
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

The Ukrainians (esp the Militias) enjoy torturing those of their countrymen with possible connections to anything Russian. It is like the worst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland multiplied many times over.

Jack Reagan
Jack Reagan
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

If you read William Blum’s book ‘Killing Hope’ (Praised by the likes of Chomsky and Vidal), you will see how the USA has trained, funded and sponsored dictatorships for decades including including indiscriminate torture and murder. I’m no Russia apologist, Russia are undoubtedly involved in a number of human rights violations but to paint the Ukrainian situation as black and white is going down the wrong path Politics is much more nuanced

Liam F
Liam F
1 year ago
Reply to  Rosa Mechoni

probabaly just as badly. What’s your point?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rosa Mechoni

They stripped them naked, savaged them with dogs, forced them to masturbate in front of hysterical nurses, then waterboarded them, and then claimed none of that is torture.

Still it was lucky they didn’t get the full ‘ Soldier Blue’ nonsense, breasts cut off, then scrapped out to make tobacco pouches etc.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Ron Bo
RB
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rosa Mechoni

I think you will find that generally the Americans don’t do it.
During World War 2 we Brits and Americans realised intelligence was gathered more efficiently by humane questioning.There will always be exceptions but this general rule applies.
German troops did not want to surrender to the Soviets but rather to the Allies.
Russia hasn’t changed and neither has its armed forces.

Rosa Mechoni
RM
Rosa Mechoni
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Can we have a report on how Americans do it?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

This was unspeakably grim to read.
I ask myself how i would endure such circumstances. Honestly, i don’t know. But i thank Unherd for bringing it to our attention.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

This article should give anyone who does not want the West to fully arm Ukraine great pause. This is what you’re wishing on the citizens of Ukraine. This is the monstrous evil that is Russia.

Arthur G
AG
Arthur G
1 year ago

This article should give anyone who does not want the West to fully arm Ukraine great pause. This is what you’re wishing on the citizens of Ukraine. This is the monstrous evil that is Russia.

Jim R
JR
Jim R
1 year ago

Will tomorrow’s edition have coverage of the abuses on the Ukraine side? The internet is filled with photos and videos of citizens being tied to lamp posts by Ukrainian soldiers, evidently tried and convicted on the spot, and then having their pants pulled down for public humiliation. Not as bad as electroshock to your genitals of course, but one of the victims i saw was an 11 year old girl. Who knows what might be revealed if journalists actually did their jobs. Balanced reporting should tell us the whole truth. Of course then we might start to question the good guys versus the bad guys narratives being rammed down our throats every day.

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

I was just waiting for such a post and you’ve fulfilled. There is a difference between the invaders’ indiscriminate actions and those trying to defend their country and root out traitors. The Ukrainians are definitely no angels but they have been forced to be like this. They wouldn’t have been in this situation at all if Putin had chosen a different path.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Did i say there was no difference? I actually said quite literally the opposite. Sounds like you were waiting for a different post and just took the first slightly sceptical remark as a cue to waive your Ukrainian flag and demonstrate your mindless piety.

stephen archer
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

You didn’t. Read your post again. Insults containing “mindless” and “piety” expose your true intellect. “Ukrainian”? I do not want any more wars in Europe, my father and other relatives had to suffer WW2 and Putin has just started another one which will undoubtedly spread. To my mind the Ukrainians can do whatever is necessary to rid Europe of this cancer, but at the moment the attrocities are largely done by Russian forces.

Jim R
JR
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Ok, I read my post again. The words “not as bad as” imply difference, which is the opposite of “no difference”.

willful knowledge
willful knowledge
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Still implies the Ukrainians are nasty pieces of work. “Not as bad as electroshock to your genitals of course, but one of the victims i saw was an 11 year old girl.”

willful knowledge
willful knowledge
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Still implies the Ukrainians are nasty pieces of work. “Not as bad as electroshock to your genitals of course, but one of the victims i saw was an 11 year old girl.”

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Ok, I read my post again. The words “not as bad as” imply difference, which is the opposite of “no difference”.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

You implied that there were Ukrainian atrocities out there, while using the humiliation of collaborators as somehow equivalent.
Rather like saying shaving the heads of women who fraternized with Germans was the same as Klaus Barbie torturing French people.
Truly ingenious!

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

You didn’t. Read your post again. Insults containing “mindless” and “piety” expose your true intellect. “Ukrainian”? I do not want any more wars in Europe, my father and other relatives had to suffer WW2 and Putin has just started another one which will undoubtedly spread. To my mind the Ukrainians can do whatever is necessary to rid Europe of this cancer, but at the moment the attrocities are largely done by Russian forces.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

You implied that there were Ukrainian atrocities out there, while using the humiliation of collaborators as somehow equivalent.
Rather like saying shaving the heads of women who fraternized with Germans was the same as Klaus Barbie torturing French people.
Truly ingenious!

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Not in the Geneva Conventions there isn’t. Remember, that ‘rules based international order’ that neocons are always bonging on about defending?

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

No one is an angel during war. That’s why war is hell.

Janos Boris
JB
Janos Boris
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

There are huge differences, though. Violence, brutal acts, even war crimes do occur usually on both sides in a bitter war. But there is a world of difference between occasional criminal behaviour and systematic brutalization of civilians, Gestapo style, as Russia does in the territories it occupies. It also makes a big difference if such behaviour is prosecuted by the army whose members engaged in it or is being encouraged.

Janos Boris
Janos Boris
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

There are huge differences, though. Violence, brutal acts, even war crimes do occur usually on both sides in a bitter war. But there is a world of difference between occasional criminal behaviour and systematic brutalization of civilians, Gestapo style, as Russia does in the territories it occupies. It also makes a big difference if such behaviour is prosecuted by the army whose members engaged in it or is being encouraged.

Jim R
JR
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Did i say there was no difference? I actually said quite literally the opposite. Sounds like you were waiting for a different post and just took the first slightly sceptical remark as a cue to waive your Ukrainian flag and demonstrate your mindless piety.

Peter Joy
PJ
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Not in the Geneva Conventions there isn’t. Remember, that ‘rules based international order’ that neocons are always bonging on about defending?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

No one is an angel during war. That’s why war is hell.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

As I have noted in an earlier comment, if you have factual information about these things, I encourage you to write an article for UnHerd in reply to this article and share it with us all. I look forward to reading it.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Oh Peter, I seem to have missed your article full of facts – can you please send the link? I bet there’s a Peter B in a comment section in Russia somewhere who’s smugly dismissing the possibility of Russian atrocities on the basis that he hasn’t seen it reported. That’s how propaganda works – many people just can’t wrap their heads around the possibility that they aren’t getting all the facts.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim R
Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

But I don’t need to post anything, do I ? I generally accept this article.
The onus is on you to produce counter-evidence. I tried to do so in a polite and encouraging manner and avoid using the phrase “put up, or shut up”. But it seems that’s not the way you like to debate.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I didn’t reject anything in this article, I only called for balance in reporting. You are therefore objecting to balance and attacking anyone who calls for it. Nothing polite or encouraging about that.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Logical fallacy there – because you think I don’t agree with you, that means I must oppose you. Simply doesn’t follow.
Read the comments again. I never objected to balance. Quite the opposite. I invited you to write a full article putting your side of the story – I will certainly support this if you ask UnHerd.
Is this something you wish to do ?
Note: interesting to note that you fully accept the article (you “reject nothing” – your exact words). So you have accepted in full the reports of atrocities documented in this article then.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Logical fallacy there – because you think I don’t agree with you, that means I must oppose you. Simply doesn’t follow.
Read the comments again. I never objected to balance. Quite the opposite. I invited you to write a full article putting your side of the story – I will certainly support this if you ask UnHerd.
Is this something you wish to do ?
Note: interesting to note that you fully accept the article (you “reject nothing” – your exact words). So you have accepted in full the reports of atrocities documented in this article then.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I didn’t reject anything in this article, I only called for balance in reporting. You are therefore objecting to balance and attacking anyone who calls for it. Nothing polite or encouraging about that.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

But I don’t need to post anything, do I ? I generally accept this article.
The onus is on you to produce counter-evidence. I tried to do so in a polite and encouraging manner and avoid using the phrase “put up, or shut up”. But it seems that’s not the way you like to debate.

Jim R
JR
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Oh Peter, I seem to have missed your article full of facts – can you please send the link? I bet there’s a Peter B in a comment section in Russia somewhere who’s smugly dismissing the possibility of Russian atrocities on the basis that he hasn’t seen it reported. That’s how propaganda works – many people just can’t wrap their heads around the possibility that they aren’t getting all the facts.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim R
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Fence-sitting, cloaked in priggism.
In a sense, none of what either side does is relevant. 
The issue boils down to – who invaded? Who wants to eradicate its neighbour’s country? I’m on the side of the Ukrainians. 
Which side are you on, mate? 

Jim R
JR
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Ah yes, the philosophy of George Bush and Anakin Skywalker. If you’re not with me, you’re against me. Welcome to the comment section, where nuance goes to die.

Ron Bo
RB
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Russia doesn’t do nuance Jim.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Russia doesn’t do nuance Jim.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Ah yes, the philosophy of George Bush and Anakin Skywalker. If you’re not with me, you’re against me. Welcome to the comment section, where nuance goes to die.

0 0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Excellent point.

Alka Hughes-Hallett
AH
Alka Hughes-Hallett
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

I have to agree . Guntanamo Bay atrocities. US/ UK invaded Afghanistan and Iraq .

War is terrible and each side ultimately resorts to torturing civilians. It’s tragic but it’s war.

Ron Bo
RB
Ron Bo
1 year ago

 Guntanamo Bay atrocities??
Was anyone killed?I remember a Morrocan national being paid £1million damages by we Brits and another who was welcomed back to the UK with open arms.
There is no equivalence between civilised countries like the UK and US and totalitarian regimes.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

I believe the current estimate is that 397,000 civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed in the US wars there. Civilians.

Julian Townsend
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

“Was anyone killed”?
Only a couple of million Iraqis, conscripts and civilians alike, who never asked for their country to be invaded by the USA on an invented and entirely false pretext (the nonexistent WMDs). Russia will have to commit a lot more atrocities to catch up with that record. But these victims were not white so maybe they don’t count?
I wonder what the source of information about these Russian “atrocities”.is It couldn’t just be the propaganda arm of the Ukrainian government, could it? Or some of the many “independent” bodies that are funded by the CIA?
Whatever, we may hope that there will be a war crimes trial after this war is over, and some genuinely independent body can set about the task of separating truth from propaganda.
There has already been a comprehensive report of war crimes in Ukraine by Amnesty International. These include numerous instances of the use of torture as well as the widespread use of civilians as human shields. These atrocities were committed by the Ukrainian side, and the report has conveniently been forgotten by our Fourth Estate.

Jim R
JR
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

I believe the current estimate is that 397,000 civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed in the US wars there. Civilians.

Julian Townsend
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

“Was anyone killed”?
Only a couple of million Iraqis, conscripts and civilians alike, who never asked for their country to be invaded by the USA on an invented and entirely false pretext (the nonexistent WMDs). Russia will have to commit a lot more atrocities to catch up with that record. But these victims were not white so maybe they don’t count?
I wonder what the source of information about these Russian “atrocities”.is It couldn’t just be the propaganda arm of the Ukrainian government, could it? Or some of the many “independent” bodies that are funded by the CIA?
Whatever, we may hope that there will be a war crimes trial after this war is over, and some genuinely independent body can set about the task of separating truth from propaganda.
There has already been a comprehensive report of war crimes in Ukraine by Amnesty International. These include numerous instances of the use of torture as well as the widespread use of civilians as human shields. These atrocities were committed by the Ukrainian side, and the report has conveniently been forgotten by our Fourth Estate.

Ron Bo
RB
Ron Bo
1 year ago

 Guntanamo Bay atrocities??
Was anyone killed?I remember a Morrocan national being paid £1million damages by we Brits and another who was welcomed back to the UK with open arms.
There is no equivalence between civilised countries like the UK and US and totalitarian regimes.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Jim.
Think Bucha where 80 year old grandmothers were raped.
The Russians are the bad guys and yes I’m sure there are some bad Ukrainians.We all like to think we would not lose our moral compasses but when Russia is committing war crimes on a daily basis ie targeting civilians it must be very hard not to behave badly in some circumstances.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

This isn’t “good guys vs bad guys.”
It’s insuring that people who do cold, calculated things like this don’t get a chance to do it anywhere else.
Like where you live.

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

I was just waiting for such a post and you’ve fulfilled. There is a difference between the invaders’ indiscriminate actions and those trying to defend their country and root out traitors. The Ukrainians are definitely no angels but they have been forced to be like this. They wouldn’t have been in this situation at all if Putin had chosen a different path.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

As I have noted in an earlier comment, if you have factual information about these things, I encourage you to write an article for UnHerd in reply to this article and share it with us all. I look forward to reading it.

Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Fence-sitting, cloaked in priggism.
In a sense, none of what either side does is relevant. 
The issue boils down to – who invaded? Who wants to eradicate its neighbour’s country? I’m on the side of the Ukrainians. 
Which side are you on, mate? 

0 0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Excellent point.

Alka Hughes-Hallett
AH
Alka Hughes-Hallett
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

I have to agree . Guntanamo Bay atrocities. US/ UK invaded Afghanistan and Iraq .

War is terrible and each side ultimately resorts to torturing civilians. It’s tragic but it’s war.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Jim.
Think Bucha where 80 year old grandmothers were raped.
The Russians are the bad guys and yes I’m sure there are some bad Ukrainians.We all like to think we would not lose our moral compasses but when Russia is committing war crimes on a daily basis ie targeting civilians it must be very hard not to behave badly in some circumstances.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

This isn’t “good guys vs bad guys.”
It’s insuring that people who do cold, calculated things like this don’t get a chance to do it anywhere else.
Like where you live.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

Will tomorrow’s edition have coverage of the abuses on the Ukraine side? The internet is filled with photos and videos of citizens being tied to lamp posts by Ukrainian soldiers, evidently tried and convicted on the spot, and then having their pants pulled down for public humiliation. Not as bad as electroshock to your genitals of course, but one of the victims i saw was an 11 year old girl. Who knows what might be revealed if journalists actually did their jobs. Balanced reporting should tell us the whole truth. Of course then we might start to question the good guys versus the bad guys narratives being rammed down our throats every day.

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago

We saw a lot of this kind of stuff from both sides. Idiots who blindly believe either of them. And BTW the author is known to be severely biased. Verdict: POS.

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

I would be inclined to agree as there are quite a few inconsistencies in this piece.
Will the Reckoning Project investigate war crimes and atrocities committed by the Ukrainian armed forces? Or is its purpose similar to that of the writer of this piece, to provide propaganda ensuring continued financial support and armament for Ukraine to continue this horrendous war.
Sooner or later this war will end either in nuclear war or all parties sitting down and talking. There aren’t ANY other alternatives. Russia can’t lose and Ukraine will never surrender. It’s just a matter of how many hundreds of thousands of people are going to die before it’s resolved.
It’s all just utterly depressing.

Last edited 1 year ago by 0 0
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

So we’ll just surrender shall we?

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

We’re not at war.

JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Oh yes we are

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Oh yes we are

Tom Conroy
TC
Tom Conroy
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

We aren’t a combatant so how could we surrender?

JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Conroy

By supporting the Russian government, which seems to be trolling well on here

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Conroy

By supporting the Russian government, which seems to be trolling well on here

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

We’re not at war.

Tom Conroy
Tom Conroy
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

We aren’t a combatant so how could we surrender?

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

We didn’t talk to Hitler.

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

“We didn’t talk to ” is that so? Most of the European powers had treaties with H, no? What about Munich’38 ? Still doesn’t ring a bell? I watched the documentary about Olympic games in 1936 by that German filmmaker Leni Rlfdhgklhdfgh (I’m bad with names, sorry). Team after team were marching with N** salute showing how they don’t talk to the guy. (British and American teams gave a military salute, not a N* style) You know which team was not there? Russian.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Most European powers *did not* have treaties with Hitler. The only one I know of is the Soviet Union (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). So your pretence that “Russia” (the Soviet Union in those days) was “whiter than white” just won’t wash (they also invaded Poland in 1939, just to top it off).
Munich 1938 was certainly not a “treaty”.
Please do correct me if I’m mistaken !

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are correct, Munich was an AGREEMENT.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are correct, Munich was an AGREEMENT.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Leni Riefenstahl.

Andy E
AE
Andy E
1 year ago

thank you, that’s her.

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago

thank you, that’s her.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

However in May 1938 at the England v Germany football match, held in the Berlin Olympic Stadium the English team did give the N*zi Salute at the start of the game.*

(* We won 6-3.)

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Most European powers *did not* have treaties with Hitler. The only one I know of is the Soviet Union (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). So your pretence that “Russia” (the Soviet Union in those days) was “whiter than white” just won’t wash (they also invaded Poland in 1939, just to top it off).
Munich 1938 was certainly not a “treaty”.
Please do correct me if I’m mistaken !

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Leni Riefenstahl.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

However in May 1938 at the England v Germany football match, held in the Berlin Olympic Stadium the English team did give the N*zi Salute at the start of the game.*

(* We won 6-3.)

Andy E
AE
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Bo

“We didn’t talk to ” is that so? Most of the European powers had treaties with H, no? What about Munich’38 ? Still doesn’t ring a bell? I watched the documentary about Olympic games in 1936 by that German filmmaker Leni Rlfdhgklhdfgh (I’m bad with names, sorry). Team after team were marching with N** salute showing how they don’t talk to the guy. (British and American teams gave a military salute, not a N* style) You know which team was not there? Russian.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

Russia seems to be losing quite well.
Zero gains, and the rasputitsa is starting.
But I’m sure that WW2 doc you saw a decade ago, with all the Siberian ski troops attacking in the midst of winter, means Stalin…I mean Putin…can’t lose.

JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

So we’ll just surrender shall we?

Ron Bo
RB
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

We didn’t talk to Hitler.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

Russia seems to be losing quite well.
Zero gains, and the rasputitsa is starting.
But I’m sure that WW2 doc you saw a decade ago, with all the Siberian ski troops attacking in the midst of winter, means Stalin…I mean Putin…can’t lose.

0 0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

I would be inclined to agree as there are quite a few inconsistencies in this piece.
Will the Reckoning Project investigate war crimes and atrocities committed by the Ukrainian armed forces? Or is its purpose similar to that of the writer of this piece, to provide propaganda ensuring continued financial support and armament for Ukraine to continue this horrendous war.
Sooner or later this war will end either in nuclear war or all parties sitting down and talking. There aren’t ANY other alternatives. Russia can’t lose and Ukraine will never surrender. It’s just a matter of how many hundreds of thousands of people are going to die before it’s resolved.
It’s all just utterly depressing.

Last edited 1 year ago by 0 0
Andy E
AE
Andy E
1 year ago

We saw a lot of this kind of stuff from both sides. Idiots who blindly believe either of them. And BTW the author is known to be severely biased. Verdict: POS.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

I’m beginning to see some real panic among those who hope this will end with a “draw,” i.e. allow Putin to keep some of his gains since last year.
Fact is, he’s expended most of his mobiks for zero gains. The idea was to rev up the Russians back home with tales of bravery and conquest.
Instead, because he worked 20 years to insure that the masses would never come out on to the street like they did in 1991 and 2012, there is zero active support for the war.
Turn people into couch potatoes and they become…couch potatoes.
–Now the muddy season–the rasputitsa–is starting. No offensives will be possible for at least two months.
–The Ukrainians aren’t frozen or starved.
–No general Russian mobilization, because Putin knows that’s the one thing that will threaten his regime.
–And when the ground gets dry again, the Ukrainians will have their Leopards and long range missiles.
A democracy beating a dictatorship?
What a horrible prospect!

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

I’m beginning to see some real panic among those who hope this will end with a “draw,” i.e. allow Putin to keep some of his gains since last year.
Fact is, he’s expended most of his mobiks for zero gains. The idea was to rev up the Russians back home with tales of bravery and conquest.
Instead, because he worked 20 years to insure that the masses would never come out on to the street like they did in 1991 and 2012, there is zero active support for the war.
Turn people into couch potatoes and they become…couch potatoes.
–Now the muddy season–the rasputitsa–is starting. No offensives will be possible for at least two months.
–The Ukrainians aren’t frozen or starved.
–No general Russian mobilization, because Putin knows that’s the one thing that will threaten his regime.
–And when the ground gets dry again, the Ukrainians will have their Leopards and long range missiles.
A democracy beating a dictatorship?
What a horrible prospect!

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Malvin Marombedza
MM
Malvin Marombedza
1 year ago

Standard Operating Procedure in Dictatorships. Robert was keen on doing it too.

Malvin Marombedza
MM
Malvin Marombedza
1 year ago

Standard Operating Procedure in Dictatorships. Robert was keen on doing it too.

Elizabeth dSJ
Elizabeth dSJ
1 year ago

It wouldn’t be war without atrocity propaganda.

Andrew Fisher
AF
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth dSJ

It’s not ‘propaganda’ because it is true. The language of Putin and the Russian leadership now amounts to near genocidal, Ukraine needs a ‘lustration’ for example. The call the Ukrainian leadership and an increasing proportion of the people ‘Nazis’. This is a term quite cleverly used because of its resonance in the West, but no-one cares in Putin’s clique about anti-semitism or the Holocaust – it just means any force which thinks the Ukrainians have the right to run their own affairs. Of course it is ludicrous since Far Right views are actively encouraged in Russia.

Tom Watson
TW
Tom Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The best propaganda’s based on truth! Always has been.

Andy E
AE
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

“because it is true”
That’s what she said!

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Every war the west propagandises has alleged major atrocities that turn out to be false. The evidence here is from the same people who gave us WMD, Syrian chemical attacks, Benghazi raids, and so on.

That doesn’t mean it is false, it does mean that it’s suspect.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
MB
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago

And bayoneted Kuwaiti children in Iraq war I

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_testimony

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

And then BBQ’d rather like Belgium babies and ‘The Hun’ in 1914.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

And then BBQ’d rather like Belgium babies and ‘The Hun’ in 1914.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago

Unfortunately, the idea that we might seek balance, and irrefutable evidence about claims made during conflicts, has long since been thrown in the bin. I’d have thought we’d have learnt to be more discerning after all the lies told about Germans crucifying our boys during WW1.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

Ever heard of “barrel bombs” in Syria?
Or the constant attempts by Russia to freeze all Ukrainians?
And a thousand bodies with marks of torture all over them is not “suspect evidence.”

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
MB
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago

And bayoneted Kuwaiti children in Iraq war I

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_testimony

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago

Unfortunately, the idea that we might seek balance, and irrefutable evidence about claims made during conflicts, has long since been thrown in the bin. I’d have thought we’d have learnt to be more discerning after all the lies told about Germans crucifying our boys during WW1.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Ever heard of “barrel bombs” in Syria?
Or the constant attempts by Russia to freeze all Ukrainians?
And a thousand bodies with marks of torture all over them is not “suspect evidence.”

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Of course they care about Naziism Andrew , it killed millions of them and was designed to replace all Russians to the east.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago

Molotov Ribbentrop Pact seemed to suit Stalin very well.
Stalin was interested in saving his own skin he wasn’t bothered about the Russian populace.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago

Molotov Ribbentrop Pact seemed to suit Stalin very well.
Stalin was interested in saving his own skin he wasn’t bothered about the Russian populace.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

To quote George Orwell:
‘All propaganda’s lying, whether mine or yours.
It’s lying even when the facts are true.’
The lying consists in the one-sidedness of the reporting, the inflation of one side’s crimes and the total lack of interest in acknowledging the other’s. Bias by omission.
We see it all over the modern MSM now, whether on climate, immigration, crime, housing, LGBTQPZ++?? or a host of other issues: if a story can’t be twisted to aid the Blackrock-WEF cosmo-liberal agenda, it simply isn’t reported at all.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

So you’re saying western allied propaganda was equivalent to Nazi propaganda?
Think there were a few differences.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

So you’re saying western allied propaganda was equivalent to Nazi propaganda?
Think there were a few differences.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The best propaganda’s based on truth! Always has been.

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

“because it is true”
That’s what she said!

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Every war the west propagandises has alleged major atrocities that turn out to be false. The evidence here is from the same people who gave us WMD, Syrian chemical attacks, Benghazi raids, and so on.

That doesn’t mean it is false, it does mean that it’s suspect.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Of course they care about Naziism Andrew , it killed millions of them and was designed to replace all Russians to the east.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

To quote George Orwell:
‘All propaganda’s lying, whether mine or yours.
It’s lying even when the facts are true.’
The lying consists in the one-sidedness of the reporting, the inflation of one side’s crimes and the total lack of interest in acknowledging the other’s. Bias by omission.
We see it all over the modern MSM now, whether on climate, immigration, crime, housing, LGBTQPZ++?? or a host of other issues: if a story can’t be twisted to aid the Blackrock-WEF cosmo-liberal agenda, it simply isn’t reported at all.

Judas Pissed
Judas Pissed
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth dSJ

go away bot

Gary Ballinger
Gary Ballinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth dSJ

Totally agree. I must confess to not reading this report as this kind of horror is what I would expect from the dogs of war. I have read of the Ukrainians using nerve gas on Russians who died in horrendous pain. To say one side is worst than the other is not facing up to the horrors of war.
Peace talks need to be on the agenda now.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Ballinger

Perhaps you could provide evidence of the Ukrainian torture camps that are similar to those in the article? Or even of the nerve gas you claim they’ve used? I won’t hold my breath though

D Walsh
DW
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think it was CS gas, there are videos on twitter if you don’t believe it, not hard to find

The neocons are getting desperate because the Russians are winning, I expect more propaganda

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I certainly expect you will spew out more propaganda …
You are aware that photographs and videos are easily faked these days ?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Quite, but given their decades of experience, I would expect the CIA and their galaxy of supporting acts to be somewhat better at it than the Russians.

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Are you aware that the article above might be wholly untrue?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

But that’s not the case is it ?
Randomly picking an undisputed fact from the text:
“After the 2014 occupation of Crimea and the Donbas”.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Which never happened. Where were the thousands of Russian soldiers? Why did Poroshenko cut off pensions and medicines to win, neither of which measures was likely to affect Russian troops? Maybe you are thinking of the Crimea.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Which never happened. Where were the thousands of Russian soldiers? Why did Poroshenko cut off pensions and medicines to win, neither of which measures was likely to affect Russian troops? Maybe you are thinking of the Crimea.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

But that’s not the case is it ?
Randomly picking an undisputed fact from the text:
“After the 2014 occupation of Crimea and the Donbas”.

Peter Joy
PJ
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Quite, but given their decades of experience, I would expect the CIA and their galaxy of supporting acts to be somewhat better at it than the Russians.

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Are you aware that the article above might be wholly untrue?

Mike Wylde
MW
Mike Wylde
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

CS gas is hardly the same as nerve had!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

As a former major user of CS gas I can assure you that it is VERY effective when used correctly, as I am sure Mr McCusker for one will verify

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

As a former major user of CS gas I can assure you that it is VERY effective when used correctly, as I am sure Mr McCusker for one will verify

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

There’s a world of difference between CS gas and nerve gas. The fact you’ve downgraded it to such an extent already implies your stories aren’t too trustworthy in my eyes

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I certainly expect you will spew out more propaganda …
You are aware that photographs and videos are easily faked these days ?

Mike Wylde
MW
Mike Wylde
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

CS gas is hardly the same as nerve had!

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

There’s a world of difference between CS gas and nerve gas. The fact you’ve downgraded it to such an extent already implies your stories aren’t too trustworthy in my eyes

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

This report may or may not be true. Historians will hopefully extract truths, such as may ultimately be discovered, from the intense and layered propaganda streaming from both/all sides. Behold modern, Hybrid War.
But lucky you BB! No need to hold your breath long. Not hard to find – for those who take the time to look. Try it! Many – and I mean many – eyewitness reports from civilians and others right from the outset.
But first answer this: what do YOU call 14,000 dead civilians in the Donbass, pre-war? Murder? Torture? Or a “lesson in democracy”? Then answer yes or no: have you seen the OSCE reports of massively intensified shelling into Donbass by Ukraine in the 7 days leading up to the Russian SMO? (Also easy to find, and with a cool map showing where the shells were landing!).
War is hell (unless you’re American, British or West European). In which case war is hell for others far away. Go on, make a spread sheet and compare US and NATO blood trails (strikes, hot war, coups and illegal sanctions) since the 50’s versus your “Axis of Evil”. Go on now…
Which is why this war should NEVER have started. Which is why the pre-war Russian position was to do everything short of beg the West to respect their red lines on NATO expansion, and Ukraine to honour Minsk.
Get off the couch – the lot of you – and go peruse the (ratified) international security agreements dealing with the principle of “indivisibility of security”.
This war must end, and it will, but the bodies will be piled high and millions of post-war lives will be ruined because the “Moral West” cannot…will never…countenance the proposition that most of the world no longer wants what it has to sell.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Buchan
Peter Joy
PJ
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

An intelligent post, Peter. From Guatemala to Iran to Vietnam to Iraq, the historical evidence speaks for itself. It’s barely surprising that the non-aligned world has no interest in lining up behind ‘the West’ in its latest phoney crusade.

D Walsh
DW
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Yes, most of it is true, but I would just like to add that the neocons are NOT the West

A better West is possible, but first we need to remove the neocons from all positions of power and influence, then progress can happen

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Yes, most of it is true, but I would just like to add that the neocons are NOT the West

A better West is possible, but first we need to remove the neocons from all positions of power and influence, then progress can happen

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Sorry, the figure of “14,000” is for the ENTIRE war in 2014-15.
The Russians have just used that figure to claim it was all only after the ceasefire.
Russians always do exaggerate a tad.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

An intelligent post, Peter. From Guatemala to Iran to Vietnam to Iraq, the historical evidence speaks for itself. It’s barely surprising that the non-aligned world has no interest in lining up behind ‘the West’ in its latest phoney crusade.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Sorry, the figure of “14,000” is for the ENTIRE war in 2014-15.
The Russians have just used that figure to claim it was all only after the ceasefire.
Russians always do exaggerate a tad.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Where’s the ‘evidence’ of the Russian ones, come to that? You’re just reading digital words on the screen, Billy Bob, allegedly written by someone you’re almost certainly never met, quoting the testimony of people none of us can be sure even exist.
You might have forgotten the c**k and bull the public were fed over everything from the sinking of the USS Maine to the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq WMD, the Steele dossier and ‘Russiagate’, BLM, Covid lockdowns and vaccines and the Biden laptop – but I certainly have not, and never will.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

But somehow I think the Russian invasion was and is quite real.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

But somehow I think the Russian invasion was and is quite real.

Julian Townsend
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There is no “evidence” provided in the article, merely assertions.Just saying.

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think it was CS gas, there are videos on twitter if you don’t believe it, not hard to find

The neocons are getting desperate because the Russians are winning, I expect more propaganda

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

This report may or may not be true. Historians will hopefully extract truths, such as may ultimately be discovered, from the intense and layered propaganda streaming from both/all sides. Behold modern, Hybrid War.
But lucky you BB! No need to hold your breath long. Not hard to find – for those who take the time to look. Try it! Many – and I mean many – eyewitness reports from civilians and others right from the outset.
But first answer this: what do YOU call 14,000 dead civilians in the Donbass, pre-war? Murder? Torture? Or a “lesson in democracy”? Then answer yes or no: have you seen the OSCE reports of massively intensified shelling into Donbass by Ukraine in the 7 days leading up to the Russian SMO? (Also easy to find, and with a cool map showing where the shells were landing!).
War is hell (unless you’re American, British or West European). In which case war is hell for others far away. Go on, make a spread sheet and compare US and NATO blood trails (strikes, hot war, coups and illegal sanctions) since the 50’s versus your “Axis of Evil”. Go on now…
Which is why this war should NEVER have started. Which is why the pre-war Russian position was to do everything short of beg the West to respect their red lines on NATO expansion, and Ukraine to honour Minsk.
Get off the couch – the lot of you – and go peruse the (ratified) international security agreements dealing with the principle of “indivisibility of security”.
This war must end, and it will, but the bodies will be piled high and millions of post-war lives will be ruined because the “Moral West” cannot…will never…countenance the proposition that most of the world no longer wants what it has to sell.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Buchan
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Where’s the ‘evidence’ of the Russian ones, come to that? You’re just reading digital words on the screen, Billy Bob, allegedly written by someone you’re almost certainly never met, quoting the testimony of people none of us can be sure even exist.
You might have forgotten the c**k and bull the public were fed over everything from the sinking of the USS Maine to the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq WMD, the Steele dossier and ‘Russiagate’, BLM, Covid lockdowns and vaccines and the Biden laptop – but I certainly have not, and never will.

Julian Townsend
JT
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There is no “evidence” provided in the article, merely assertions.Just saying.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Ballinger

Yes of course, the Ukrainian invasion of Russia has indeed led to widespread torture and murder of Russian civilians! Not to mention the shelling and bombing of Russian cities into near total devastation.

Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Ballinger

You naive clot

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Ballinger

Perhaps you could provide evidence of the Ukrainian torture camps that are similar to those in the article? Or even of the nerve gas you claim they’ve used? I won’t hold my breath though

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Ballinger

Yes of course, the Ukrainian invasion of Russia has indeed led to widespread torture and murder of Russian civilians! Not to mention the shelling and bombing of Russian cities into near total devastation.

Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Ballinger

You naive clot

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth dSJ

It’s not ‘propaganda’ because it is true. The language of Putin and the Russian leadership now amounts to near genocidal, Ukraine needs a ‘lustration’ for example. The call the Ukrainian leadership and an increasing proportion of the people ‘Nazis’. This is a term quite cleverly used because of its resonance in the West, but no-one cares in Putin’s clique about anti-semitism or the Holocaust – it just means any force which thinks the Ukrainians have the right to run their own affairs. Of course it is ludicrous since Far Right views are actively encouraged in Russia.

Judas Pissed
JP
Judas Pissed
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth dSJ

go away bot

Gary Ballinger
Gary Ballinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth dSJ

Totally agree. I must confess to not reading this report as this kind of horror is what I would expect from the dogs of war. I have read of the Ukrainians using nerve gas on Russians who died in horrendous pain. To say one side is worst than the other is not facing up to the horrors of war.
Peace talks need to be on the agenda now.

Elizabeth dSJ
ED
Elizabeth dSJ
1 year ago

It wouldn’t be war without atrocity propaganda.

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

War is hell! I am so sorry this happened to these people. 
Are we allowed to ask why were those men from Donetsk (part of Ukraine until this past year) so angry, so brutal and so full of vengeance against what had been their own country?
Did something happen in this part of Ukraine to them and their own families where there is now this sort of, Ukraine on Ukraine (or now former Ukrainian vs former Ukrainian violence?) What has changed is it’s now part of Russia, but did any of this sort of torture, or killing of civilians occur the other way around before then, or are we to beleive that these bad people just popped out of no where and nothing to randomly do this kind of thing? 
Also, if this area becomes like Crimea, where a large majority of people polled people are happy to be part of Russia, then that would be good, right? At least now, those people in Donetsk are no longer being shelled and tormented by Azov Ukrainians, as they had been for years right? 
Just showing a narrow slice of terrible information with no context that only demonizes one of the two corrupt and waring Slavic states has a one word name. It starts with P and ends with A.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

Your comment is unrealistic. No reporter is going to be in a position to see both what the Russians and the Ukrainians are doing. So he can only report what he sees. And it is not his responsibility to report the complete picture. Neither is it a big or unreasonable ask for us to individually exercise our own judgement and do any additional research. So your assertion that this must be propaganda is not supported by anything you have said.
Of course, if you do have factual information about Ukrainian atrocities I’d suggest you contact UnHerd to write an article presenting that viewpoint. That’s how these things normally work. I look forward to reading it.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Crimea, where a large majority of people polled people are happy to be part of Russia” – I must have missed that. The last time a proper referendum in Crimea on being part of Russia or Ukraine was held, in 1991, there was a majority in favour of the independence of Ukraine. If you are counting the referendum of 2014 after Russia’s invasion you are somewhat deluded about the freedom of expression allowed.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

I think you must be replying to a different comment.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

correct – it was Steve White

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

correct – it was Steve White

Steve White
SW
Steve White
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price
Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

Slightly lost – is that something justifying your assertion about referenda in Crimea?

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

Slightly lost – is that something justifying your assertion about referenda in Crimea?

Julian Townsend
JT
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

A “proper” referendum being one with the result you like?
You’re a Remainer, I presume…

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

I think you must be replying to a different comment.

Steve White
SW
Steve White
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price
Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
Julian Townsend
JT
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

A “proper” referendum being one with the result you like?
You’re a Remainer, I presume…

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I never took the position that a reporter needed to see what both the Ukrainians and Russians were doing. I appealed to the historical context in relation to the event that followed. I will admit that most people have no clue about the recent history that would possibly lead up to the Ukrainian on Ukrainian brutality described, although some of the history of that region has already been shared in some Unherd articles and reports, especially early on in the lead up to and early days of the continuation of this war. Which, our side (the West) has already admitted really started back in 2014, and that we deceived Russia with the Minsk agreements. Anyway, unless you present something accurately in a historical context, you are misleading, and I believe it is the job of a reporter to try and convey truth. The truth is the significant historical facts and the current significant facts that don’t mislead. Otherwise, I would say it is propaganda.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Crimea, where a large majority of people polled people are happy to be part of Russia” – I must have missed that. The last time a proper referendum in Crimea on being part of Russia or Ukraine was held, in 1991, there was a majority in favour of the independence of Ukraine. If you are counting the referendum of 2014 after Russia’s invasion you are somewhat deluded about the freedom of expression allowed.

Steve White
SW
Steve White
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I never took the position that a reporter needed to see what both the Ukrainians and Russians were doing. I appealed to the historical context in relation to the event that followed. I will admit that most people have no clue about the recent history that would possibly lead up to the Ukrainian on Ukrainian brutality described, although some of the history of that region has already been shared in some Unherd articles and reports, especially early on in the lead up to and early days of the continuation of this war. Which, our side (the West) has already admitted really started back in 2014, and that we deceived Russia with the Minsk agreements. Anyway, unless you present something accurately in a historical context, you are misleading, and I believe it is the job of a reporter to try and convey truth. The truth is the significant historical facts and the current significant facts that don’t mislead. Otherwise, I would say it is propaganda.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

Suggestion:
It’s usually better to give actual proof for your assertions, than to ask meaningless questions, which seem to imply things you can’t, and won’t actually prove.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

Your comment is unrealistic. No reporter is going to be in a position to see both what the Russians and the Ukrainians are doing. So he can only report what he sees. And it is not his responsibility to report the complete picture. Neither is it a big or unreasonable ask for us to individually exercise our own judgement and do any additional research. So your assertion that this must be propaganda is not supported by anything you have said.
Of course, if you do have factual information about Ukrainian atrocities I’d suggest you contact UnHerd to write an article presenting that viewpoint. That’s how these things normally work. I look forward to reading it.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

Suggestion:
It’s usually better to give actual proof for your assertions, than to ask meaningless questions, which seem to imply things you can’t, and won’t actually prove.

Steve White
SW
Steve White
1 year ago

War is hell! I am so sorry this happened to these people. 
Are we allowed to ask why were those men from Donetsk (part of Ukraine until this past year) so angry, so brutal and so full of vengeance against what had been their own country?
Did something happen in this part of Ukraine to them and their own families where there is now this sort of, Ukraine on Ukraine (or now former Ukrainian vs former Ukrainian violence?) What has changed is it’s now part of Russia, but did any of this sort of torture, or killing of civilians occur the other way around before then, or are we to beleive that these bad people just popped out of no where and nothing to randomly do this kind of thing? 
Also, if this area becomes like Crimea, where a large majority of people polled people are happy to be part of Russia, then that would be good, right? At least now, those people in Donetsk are no longer being shelled and tormented by Azov Ukrainians, as they had been for years right? 
Just showing a narrow slice of terrible information with no context that only demonizes one of the two corrupt and waring Slavic states has a one word name. It starts with P and ends with A.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

The real point is that this was all planned well in advance. It was meant to “De-Nazify” (really de-Ukrainize,) Ukraine.
This is a POLICY promoted by the Russian govt. It isn’t about what people did against an occupation force. It’s about what people ARE.
War crimes exist in every war, and one can find war criminals on every side. Traitors are also punished in every war.
And nice to “whatabout” with Abu Ghraib. But once it was revealed, it became a scandal.
This won’t be a scandal in Putin’s Russia. It will mean promotions for many in the Russian military and security services.
And that’s the difference between Ukraine and Russia.

Julian Townsend
JT
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

And the NATO/US eastward expansion? The sponsorship of a highly militarised Ukrainian state hostile to Russia and Russians, including Ukrainians of Russian descent, was that not “planned well in advance?” The subsequent civil war, was that just a big surprise? The 14,000 Donbass inhabitants killed by Nazi militias; well, maybe that wasn’t intended but wasn’t it easily foreseeable? Yet for year after year Russia held back, appealing to the Minsk agreements which Western leaders have now admitted were entered into in bad faith, with Ukraine having no intention of abiding by them and the supposed guarantors in league with Ukraine? No forward planning there? Yet still Russia held its hand until it appeared that the Donbass republics were about to be attacked.
Or perhaps you reckon all this wasn’t a POLICY promoted by the USA/NATO? That’s the scandal that cries out for justice, and we may take it that plenty of those involved have been promoted by the US/NATO military and security services. I somehow don’t think there will ever be a war crimes trial for Victoria Nuland or Joe Biden.

Julian Townsend
JT
Julian Townsend
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

And the NATO/US eastward expansion? The sponsorship of a highly militarised Ukrainian state hostile to Russia and Russians, including Ukrainians of Russian descent, was that not “planned well in advance?” The subsequent civil war, was that just a big surprise? The 14,000 Donbass inhabitants killed by Nazi militias; well, maybe that wasn’t intended but wasn’t it easily foreseeable? Yet for year after year Russia held back, appealing to the Minsk agreements which Western leaders have now admitted were entered into in bad faith, with Ukraine having no intention of abiding by them and the supposed guarantors in league with Ukraine? No forward planning there? Yet still Russia held its hand until it appeared that the Donbass republics were about to be attacked.
Or perhaps you reckon all this wasn’t a POLICY promoted by the USA/NATO? That’s the scandal that cries out for justice, and we may take it that plenty of those involved have been promoted by the US/NATO military and security services. I somehow don’t think there will ever be a war crimes trial for Victoria Nuland or Joe Biden.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

The real point is that this was all planned well in advance. It was meant to “De-Nazify” (really de-Ukrainize,) Ukraine.
This is a POLICY promoted by the Russian govt. It isn’t about what people did against an occupation force. It’s about what people ARE.
War crimes exist in every war, and one can find war criminals on every side. Traitors are also punished in every war.
And nice to “whatabout” with Abu Ghraib. But once it was revealed, it became a scandal.
This won’t be a scandal in Putin’s Russia. It will mean promotions for many in the Russian military and security services.
And that’s the difference between Ukraine and Russia.

AJ Mac
AM
AJ Mac
1 year ago

These are Abu Ghraib type atrocities. Perhaps worse. I would only caution against making these sadistic actions somehow characteristic of all Russians. The mentality seeping down from the top seems bloodthirsty and ruthless. Is it too convenient to see a connection to Soviet era totalitarianism and brutal practices, a Putinist revival?

Jon Barrow
JB
Jon Barrow
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Not like Abu Ghraib at all, it’s official policy from the top. And yes I’ve lived in Ukraine (which was similar then to Russia) and that region keeps replaying Soviet themes eg Russia constantly harps on about saving the world in WW2, of course it was the one big success for and affirmation of the USSR. You could argue the brutality goes back to the Mongols and Ivan the Terrible though.

AJ Mac
AM
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

So you see these Russian abuses as something incomparably worse than what occurred at Abu Ghraib?

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Not worse, but more systemic. Abu Ghraib was poor behaviour by individuals, whereas this seems much more of a top down policy

Peter Joy
PJ
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

And what’s your view on the US-UK ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme, the secret CIA prisons in Poland and the decade-long ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ regime on the lawless oubliette of Gitmo? Years of solitary confinement in cages, savagings by dogs, threats, sexual torture, waterboardings by the thousand – often on random individuals sold to a credulous CIA for a few thousand dollars each by chancer Afghan warlords?
Was that just ‘poor behaviour by individuals’ too?

Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Major difference here is that it’s directed at civilians, using very loose criteria, and overseen by drunks. It’s not just about intel gathering, it’s a deliberate terror policy, designed to cow people.  

Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Major difference here is that it’s directed at civilians, using very loose criteria, and overseen by drunks. It’s not just about intel gathering, it’s a deliberate terror policy, designed to cow people.  

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“seems” is not “is”
We should not base our discernment on feelings.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic S
Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

As you like to say, “do you have evidence of this” top down policy? Perhaps a field manual, replete with diagrams on where to place the electrodes?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Nonsense, that pugnacious buffoon the late Donald Rumsfeld and his moronic chief, Bush Jnr fully endorsed the barbarism of Abu Ghraib.

As before the ‘Nuremberg Defence’ will not do.

Peter Joy
PJ
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

And what’s your view on the US-UK ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme, the secret CIA prisons in Poland and the decade-long ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ regime on the lawless oubliette of Gitmo? Years of solitary confinement in cages, savagings by dogs, threats, sexual torture, waterboardings by the thousand – often on random individuals sold to a credulous CIA for a few thousand dollars each by chancer Afghan warlords?
Was that just ‘poor behaviour by individuals’ too?

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“seems” is not “is”
We should not base our discernment on feelings.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic S
Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

As you like to say, “do you have evidence of this” top down policy? Perhaps a field manual, replete with diagrams on where to place the electrodes?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Nonsense, that pugnacious buffoon the late Donald Rumsfeld and his moronic chief, Bush Jnr fully endorsed the barbarism of Abu Ghraib.

As before the ‘Nuremberg Defence’ will not do.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Not worse, but more systemic. Abu Ghraib was poor behaviour by individuals, whereas this seems much more of a top down policy

Michael McElwee
MM
Michael McElwee
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

Why go back to Ivan the terrible? Stalin starved some 6,000,000 Ukrainians to death in a single winter. The USSR destroyed some 30,000,000 (60,000,000 by some accounts) innocent lives. All this in the name of progress. The midwife of history is violence, Marx told us. Innocence will come only at the end of history, we are also told.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

Brutality goes further back. To the book of Genesis.