Prisoners and torture houses of Stakhanov: UBOZ


Location icon 395th Shakhtarska Dyviziya Street, Stakhanov, Luhansk region

One of the largest torture houses in Stakhanov is located in the building of the MoI unit for combating organized crime (UBOZ). Militants of the so-called ‘LPR’ moved to this city in July 2014 and took over the majority of administrative buildings. There were around 40 separatists at UBOZ at the time when it was seized.

Conditions of detention

Prisoners at UBOZ were detained in a former automobile garage and a shed, which was had no facilities for accommodating people. The garage was separated into two parts. In one part, there were twenty to thirty men and women detained, the other part held ammunition and arms. In general, the garage had an area of approximately 18 square meters. Some prisoners were detained directly at the building of UBOZ, which had bed and mattresses, and prisoners regularly received food.

According to former prisoners, there was no air in the room; there was dust, dirt, and smell everywhere. The only source of fresh air in the garage was when someone opened the door. There was also a small window cut out with an angle grinder, however, it did not provide relief from the heat.


MoI unit for combating organized crime in Stakhanov

In addition, prisoners did not receive any food: in one case, they survived due to packages sent by relatives. In most cases, separatists did not tell families where prisoners were, so they could not send any food. The food was divided among everyone to make sure nobody died of hunger. Prisoners were taken out to the toilet once a day, and were always accompanied by armed convoy. There were bottles for urination in the room. Plastic containers were also used to collect water once a day.

Prisoners had to sleep on a concrete floor covered with rags. In addition, people could be taken for interrogation during the night.

It was forbidden to move around the garage. While the guards were nearby, everyone had to sit still.

According to witnesses, there were people with alcohol and drug addiction, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and AIDS among the prisoners. These people were detained together with the others and did not receive any medical assistance.

Treatment of prisoners

According to former prisoners, only detained militants could expect normal treatment from Stakhanov UBOZ staff. They were not beaten, could walk outside, and received cigarettes. People with alcohol and drug addiction were beaten and taken to perform forced labor, in particular dig trenches, offload mortar shells and food. Former prisoners reported a case of detention for homosexuality. The prisoner was treated with particular cruelty: he was constantly kept in the hole at the garage, while other stayed there for two days maximum.

Pro-Ukrainian activists were constantly interrogated with the use of physical abuse. On rare occasions, the militants recorded interrogations and made prisoners sign the record stating they had allegedly engaged in anti-constitutional acts against the republic. At the time of release, prisoners were forced to sign a statement that the prisoner had no claims against the so-called ‘LPR’ authorities.

Former prisoners became witnesses and victims of cruel beatings, suffocation, chaining, and mock executions. Prisoners returned from interrogations with broken skulls and cuts on their bodies. According to eyewitnesses, people were sometimes killed during interrogations.

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