- UPDATE - Sputnik Learns Kiev's SBU Jail Victims Buried Near Airport Ramp, Questioned by Lawmakers
UPDATE - Sputnik Learns Kiev's SBU Jail Victims Buried Near Airport Ramp, Questioned By Lawmakers
MOSCOW/DONETSK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th July, 2019) Former detainees of a secret jail operated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) in the southeastern city of Mariupol told Sputnik how they had been tortured there, including by a Ukrainian lawmaker, and detailed the locations at the Mariupol airport where the detainees who had not survived were buried.
Sputnik has carried out an investigation into SBU's secret jails.
"I am aware of five burial sites there. [They are located] under an apron [of the Mariupol airport] used by light airplanes," former detainee Mikhail Shubin told Sputnik.
Shubin had been detained at the facility in the Mariupol airport for two weeks in August-September 2014. He told Sputnik that he had been violently tortured during the detention. Particularly, a welding machine was connected to his genitals. He was also thrown into a grave with corpses of detainees who had not survived torture. Sputnik has also obtained a report on the medical examination of Shubin.
In a video interview with Sputnik, Filichkin said he was among the first people who were detained at the airport facility. It happened on May 7, 2014, when the Ukrainian National Guard's Azov special operations battalion and the Armed Forces captured the city.
Filichkin said that in spring the same year, he was questioned by infamous Ukrainian politicians � Oleh Lyashko, who is currently a parliamentarian, and former lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk. He added that the latter even tortured him.
The video of Filichkin being questioned was uploaded to YouTube back in fall 2014 and became one of the pieces of evidence in his case.
He was put on trial over his role in seizing five Ukrainian soldiers whom Filichkin urged to join militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).
However, Filichkin was officially detained only on August 18, 2014, after having spent months in secret jails.
According to the witnesses, torturing a DPR supporter who is "beyond the law" in order to make him speak before handing him over to the SBU for official detention is a wide-spread practice inside Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a former SBU officer, who asked not to be named because he feared for his life, told Sputnik that he used to work in Mariupol for over two years before he quit in 2017. He said that SBU used the word "library" to describe the secret jail in the airport and to refer to cases where a person was brought to the SBU after being detained in secret facilities. The ex-officer noted that the detainees could have spent days and months in detention before being officially admitted.
"Library is not just one place. Both the airport and the base of Azov in the [Livoberezhnyi district] of Mariupol inside a school building were referred to as like this. There was also a private house near a road leading from Mariupol to the [Nikolske area of the Donetsk region] where Azov was also based," the ex-officer said.
The witnesses said that the Azov Battalion used graves with killed people for psychologically torturing secret jail detainees.
The ex-SBU officer suggested that the agency used Azov to "influence" suspects because they had to undergo medical treatment after being tortured at the "library" and they asked to be sent to normal prisons as soon as possible to avoid being returned to the airport facility.