After the de-occupation of Balakliia in the Kharkiv region, it became known about at least 18 people tortured by the Russian occupiers and missing people.
The detained residents of the city were kept by the Russians in the premises of the local police station, printing office, and bus depot. In these places, Ukrainian law enforcement officers found instruments of torture, including rubber batons and a boa constrictor, as well as traces of gunshots, blood and marks on the walls made by people imprisoned in the cells, noting the number of days spent in captivity.
In one of the cells of the police station, Viktor Proshchun, the brother of local resident Yulia Drobysheva, was held. He was detained on April 17 for volunteering: the man brought food from Ukraine-controlled Pervomaisk and distributed it to people in occupied Balaklia. Yulia repeatedly tried to find out what was wrong with her brother, to give him the products – but the occupants of the transfer did not tell anything. From the other hostages, who were released after some time, the girl learned that Victor and other prisoners were tortured. What happened to her brother now and where he is is unknown. Probably, he could be taken to another city.
Information about torture is confirmed by Ruslan, a former prisoner of the Russians who was held together with Viktor. He says that after being brutally beaten in the torture chamber, the prisoners were not given any medical care, not even painkillers. Some of those who were already in a very serious condition were sent home or to the hospital. Someone else was taken from the cells, but they never returned home.
According to Ruslan, during his stay in captivity, two prisoners died from the injuries they received. He himself was eventually released, when he was already completely blue from severe beatings.
Olena Konovalova, the secretary of the Balaklia City Council, says that, according to preliminary information, some of those who are currently considered missing were taken to Izium and Kupiansk. The fate of these people after the Russians fled from there is unknown.
In addition, according to the woman, the Russians took 25 children from Balaklia.