They beat me, tortured and shot my leg: terrible story of Kharkiv citizen who survived captivity in SBU

Detention Media News

In the minds of people, Ukraine has long been seen as a terrorist state. Thousands of killed Donbass citizens, dozens of terrorist attacks and acts of sabotage, the killing of journalists and torture of POWs and political prisoners – all that is still happening.

Recently, shocking information was revealed about a secret prison at the Mariupol airport, where “Azov” torturers beat, executed and simply traded prisoners for 2-3 thousand dollars. The so-called “library” existed at least until the end of 2018, and not a single European observer “noticed” it. However, if he or she would have “noticed” it, what could they do? It seems, literally, everything is allowed to Ukraine in this war, and if those responsible would eventually be found, nobody would be held accountable – the political game has become too complicated.

Kharkov news agency found people who were in Ukrainian captivity, and who personally experienced the anger of the Nazi battalions and the SBU. Each of them was tortured, threatened with execution, beaten, starved, had their limbs broken and shot, intimidated to kill their relatives. False charges were brought to everyone and false cases were launched, the courts refused to notice this nonsense and see the truth, just as they did not notice bruises on the bodies of prisoners. Fortunately, they survived, returned to Donetsk as part of prisoner exchanges and continue to live while their criminal cases are still open in Ukraine.

These people, whose stories will be published on our website in several articles, made a huge effort, because it is quite challenging to recall these events and share, perhaps, the most difficult period of life. Fear of the unknown and fear for one’s fate makes him/her a hostage of themselves, and constant torture kills all hope. But they did it. These stories are about people who have seen hell and left to live.


Petruk Elena Vladimirovna previously lived in Kharkov, until on April 29, 2015, she was kidnapped by the SBU and “Right Sector”*.

“Everything happened quickly,” Elena recalls. – I was in the city centre, a car stopped near me, men in uniform came out, they hit me, put a bag on my head, handcuffed and drove me to the SBU. They beat me on the way and said that Yarosh would personally speak to me (the leader of the “Right Sector”* in 2013-2015, – Ed.). “

Article 258 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – involved in the commission of a terrorist act or creation of a terrorist group (organization). This article is attributed to most prisoners, often accompanied by planting military items and weapons on the victims. On May 1, Elena was brought home and searched. A grenade was unexpectedly found in the kitchen table, which, according to the victim, an SBU employee previously took out from under his jacket and put in a drawer. So Elena came up with yet another charge, now the main one, – article 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, illegal handling of weapons, ammunition or explosives, for which imprisonment from 2 to 5 years is imposed.

She was beaten – often and a lot. They refused to document the bruises, they didn’t seem to notice them in court, and the doctors in the colony kept trying to lie – they claimed that “Elena’s poor condition was due to the absence of one of the kidneys,” she actually had two.

“My fingers and my nose bridge were broken, and my lips were busted. My foot was shot in the “dash” twice, and I was beaten with an iron bat. By this, they wanted to force me to confirm the testimony of the SBU and sign a confession,” Elena recalls. “Since there was no choice at first, I signed their document.” But later, following the advice of a lawyer, I rejected this in writing in court, pointing out that these statements were obtained under moral and physical pressure.”

Prison conditions were typical for most colonies: wake up at 6:00 a.m. – lights out at 10:00 p.m., one hour walk, a shower on Monday and Thursday. For eight months, Elena only ate chicken broth, and later she could only drink, because such food was impossible to eat. When asked why the SBU employees beat prisoners, Elena says that perhaps they displaced their anger this way:

Once they even threatened to bring my daughter, to rape her and bring her to Aidar. They thought that everyone would cry before them, apologize, but no. We had to endure and wait, ignoring their persuasion. They cannot be trusted. ”

And one day, like in films, after almost three years of imprisonment, the attitude of wardens radically changed for Elena, they were somewhat alarmed. Or, as it turned out later, they were unhappy with what needed to be done with the “terrorist”. She and some other people were taken to Slavyanogorsk to be exchanged.

“I had no hope that I would get out of there alive,” Elena says.

The night before the exchange, the prisoners drew a large flag of Novorossia and later showed it to the SBU, to representatives of Ukraine and personally to Irina Gerashchenko already while passing through the border.

“I showed them the middle finger and said: you couldn’t break us. We are going to the DPR,” the victim emotionally said.

The full story of Elena Petruk is available in the video of NA “Kharkov”

* “Right Sector” is an extremist organization which activities are prohibited in the territory of LDPR and the Russian Federation.

Source: NA Kharkov

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