Ukrainian military run business selling POWs and civilians


Freelance correspondent of "First Crimean" TV channel, Anna Mokhova, spent nearly a month being a captive of Ukrainian security services. The journalist was released on September 22 as part of exchange of prisoners. She said after her release that she was beaten in Ukrainian captivity, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the journalist.

"We were prisoners of war. During the first five days, they would beat us. They would treat us fairly tough, but correctly, given the war time," said Mokhova. She also said that during the captivity, she received different threats, including the threat of execution.

Mokhova noted that the status of a journalist complicated the conditions of her captivity, as the Ukrainian side said that Russian journalists were biased in covering the events in Ukraine.

She also said that she was going to return to the south-east of Ukraine to participate in the exchange of prisoners. "I hope to participate in the work of the commission for POWs, as I have seen the situation from inside," she said.

The journalist also said that, when in captivity, she witnessed tortures of civilians by Ukrainian security forces. "I saw that with my own eyes. During the whole time, we were staying in a basement chamber. Closer to the end, a civilian was thrown to us, who was never a militia. He was from Sloviansk, but they just made him testify against himself, so he became a prisoner of war ... The man had his legs and ribs fractured. I bandaged him myself," says Mokhova.

According to her, the man was accused of having ties with militia fighters. Using contacts in his mobile phone, Ukrainian soldiers found  a friend of his in the town. They beat them both and then tortured the men to testify against each other, said Mokhova.

"At this example, I can say that the Ukrainian military were often doing the things that did not fit into international norms," she said.

The journalist also said that the Ukrainian troops were running business to sell prisoners of war.  "This business booms forever. Working as a military correspondent for the People's Republic of Donetsk, I am aware of the situation. They took a boyfriend from a young Crimean woman and threw him into a basement somewhere in Sloviansk. Then they called her back and said that she would have to pay 50 thousand dollars ransom. The woman could collect only $20,000. She came to Sloviansk, where she was told to go to Kiev, to Maidan - the riots were still going on at that time. She was told to find a tent there. So the woman came to Kiev, found the tent, where they took her money and gave her a paper saying that her boyfriend could be released. She then returned to Slaviansk, and the man was released," Mokhova said.

Mokhova disappeared on August 24 during a trip to the war zone in the Donbass. The journalist was detained along with her colleague on a highway between Donetsk and Makeyevka. Later, it became known that the journalist was held by Ukrainian Security Service in the Kharkiv region. She was suspected of crossing the border of Ukraine illegally "to execute the tasks of Russian secret services."

Mokhova was released on September 22, as part of a prisoner exchange between representatives of the breakaway republics and the Ukrainian military.

In the beginning of August, another Russian journalist went missing in eastern Ukraine - MIA Russia Today photojournalist Andrei Stenin. A month later, it was established that the journalist was killed. On September 5, Stenin was buried in Moscow on Troekurovsky Cemetery next to his colleagues, who were also killed in the Ukrainian conflict - Igor Kornelyuk, Anton Voloshin and Anatoly Klyan.


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov