Videos show officers kicking detainees in the head and mocking one scared man’s weak bladder
Footage published on Ukrainian social media on Tuesday appeared to show people in uniform beating up and harassing detainees.
The mayor of the country’s fourth largest city, Dnepr, close to where the incidents happened, justified the mistreatment on social media, branding the arrestees as “crime bosses” and claiming they previously attacked members of the region’s militia.
The graphic footage includes two separate videos, showing armed people in military fatigues brutally arresting men in civilian clothes. The troops are wearing the same kind of blue armbands that Ukrainian soldiers often use to identify their allegiance.
One clip shows troops beating up a man, who is standing with his legs spread and bowing down, with blood apparently visible. The perpetrators then turn their attention to another man, his face bloodied and his pants apparently stained with urine, for which the assailants mocked him.
The soldiers questioned the detainees, asking whether they respected the military and if they were criminals. The standing man, obviously scared, could be heard shouting “glory to Ukraine” and denying any wrongdoing.
The second video shows about a dozen men in uniforms brutally beating up at least four men laying on the ground as they put handcuffs on them. The troops can be seen kicking some of their prisoners in the head. One of the arrestees appears to be wearing a blue coat similar to the one worn by one of the men in the first video.
The mayor of Dnepr confirmed on social media that the footage showing the beatings was original and said that it showed commandos of the SBU, Ukraine’s national security services, making arrests in Pavlograd. He didn’t share the videos on his account, saying he believed he could be banned for doing so.
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The targeted people were “criminal bosses” who allegedly beat up members of Ukraine’s Territorial Guard militias and harmed civilians, he alleged. The “thugs literally pissed their pants when the guys got tough on them,” Boris Filatov observed.
The official said the arrest served as a good warning to “every looter, criminal and degenerate” that their punishment would be inevitable.
He blasted people calling out the brutality as stepping over the line, saying they should join the ranks of the military instead of accusing “honest troops” of something criminal.
Filatov is well-known for his over-the-top rhetoric. On Sunday, he said Ukrainians had “full moral fight to calmly and without any reflection kill [Russians] everywhere in the world for an unlimited length of time in maximum numbers.”
The call for violence came in response to claims by Kiev that Russian troops had committed war crimes in Ukraine. Moscow denied the allegations.