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“Electrocuted me, burned feet with a blow torch.” Melitopol resident says he confessed to terror attack under torture

Melitopol resident Yaroslav Zhuk has revealed that he faced torture by law enforcement officers to elicit a confession to being involved in a terror attack on 17 June, Graty media outlet reports.

Yaroslav Zhuk. Family archive photo/Graty

Yaroslav Zhuk. Family archive photo/Graty

According to Zhuk, after he was arrested on 17 June, he was beaten up by unidentified people, a sack was placed over his head and he was taken to a basement. He was kept there for a week with the sack over his head which was scotch taped to his head. He was handcuffed with his hands behind the back for the first three days, the man is still missing sensitivity in his fingers.

“They electrocuted [me], pressed wires against my legs, arms, genitals, earlobes, and nipples. They were beating me with a blunt tool all over the body, burned my feet with a blow torch, while also morally abused me. They were also regularly hitting me in the head, which led to me partially losing my hearing.”

“They used torture to force me to testify against myself. When I could not take any more abuse and agreed, I was taken blindfolded to another room without light and water where I was given a printed confession in a fabricated case to sign,” Zhuk said.

According to him, he signed three different confessions and also learnt one of them by heart. He then recited it on camera.

Yaroslav also said that he was not fed for a whole week and was only given a shot glass worth of water.

“Therefore, I was kept in the basement between 17 June and 8 August under threat of death. One of the documents that I was forced to sign had a name and the rank. FSB captain Ipatyev,” Zhuk said.

Photo: Yaroslav Zhuk/video with the elicited confession

On 17 June, a blast went off near Melitopol’s Industrial-Economical College. According to spokesperson for the regional occupation authorities Vladimir Rogov, the explosion was meant to kill Elena Shapurova, pro-Russian city education department chief.

The “authorities” named Zhuk as the executor, while Evgeny Astakhov and Ukrainian Mayor of the city Ivan Fedorov were branded paymasters.

Yaroslav was travelling with his friend in a car not far from the explosion site when he was detained on the same day. On 12 July, Rogov published a video where Zhuk confessed to the crime.

In the video, Yaroslav says that the Ukrainian Security Service instructed him to throw an explosion device towards the college when he was passing it by in the car. He allegedly became a part of the partisan clandestine network which sought to eliminate members of the military and civil occupation administration of Melitopol.

On August 10, Zhuk was taken to the FSB office in Simferopol and was indicted on the article of committing an act of international terrorism. The court arrested the man for two months.

Lawyer Aleksey Ladin reported that following his client’s claim of torture “the investigator should have launched a procedural review into the complaint.”

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