By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent
KYIV (Worthy News) – As fighting raged Tuesday in Ukraine, news emerged that at least hundreds of Ukrainian civilians, mainly men with military experience or of fighting age, have disappeared since the Russian invasion began nearly six months ago.
In several cases, they were held by Russian troops or allied forces in camps, basements, or police stations in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. Other deportees ended up incarcerated in Russia.
In interviews with The New York Times, newspaper detainees recalled how they were moved from one place to another, beaten, and subjected to electrical shocks under interrogation.
Others were shot, they said. It remained unclear Tuesday how many people have been sent to Russian jails, though the United Nations said it documented 287 cases of “enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions.” The UN agrees that the actual figure is almost certainly more.
One former detainee said that interrogations digging for information on Ukrainian positions and military groups were often pointless, as physical force would be used before he answered. “They don’t believe anything you say, even if you’re telling the truth. You cannot prove your innocence,” he said.
The reported disappearances came while
Brittney Griner, the U.S. basketball star, appealed her conviction on drug smuggling charges.
However, Moscow appears willing to discuss a possible prisoner swap that would include Gruber and other Americans, several sources said.
Yet while discussions are underway, the suffering on the battlefields, especially in eastern and southern, continues.
And in a sign of economic changes, Ukrainian factories are reportedly moving west, away from Russian bombs, causing a land rush.
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