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Azov Regiment member, "Prestupnosti.NET" co-founder speaks at the UN about the torture he endured in Russian captivity

23.02.2023, 14:00
Photo by Hanna Zamazeyeva
Photo by Hanna Zamazeyeva

Russian captivity survivor, defender of Azovstal and the Donetsk airport, CEO of the "Ukrainian Media Group" news agency (Mykolaiv media outlets "Prestupnosti.NET" and NikLife), Artem Dyblenko, delivered a speech at the UN headquarters, relaying the torture he endured at the hands of Russians and calling for the release of the captive Ukrainians. "Prestupnosti.NET" posted a video recording of Dyblenko's speech.

On February 22, the UN headquarters in New York hosted the first hearings regarding the brutal human rights violations caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The hearing involved speeches by International Criminal Court prosecutor, Karim Khan; the Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska; the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba; and Mariupol defenders who had been released from Russian captivity, Artem Dyblenko and Ilya Samoylenko.

During the speech, Artem Dyblenko said that he had been in captivity for 125 days, and called his time there "three thousand hours of Russian hell."

"Five months ago, when I was released from Russian captivity, I weighed 40 kilograms less than I used to. You could easily count my ribs, some of them broken... When I looked in the mirror on the first day after the swap, I did not recognize myself... Until February 24, I lived in peaceful Mykolaiv... Everything changed the moment dictator Putin decided to destroy our country," said Artem Dyblenko.

Photo by Hanna Zamazeyeva

He mentioned his brothers-in-arms who remain in Russian captivity to this day.

"I want to tell you about my comrades who remain the occupiers' captives. I was in Russian captivity for 125 days. This is about three thousand hours of physical, moral, psychological pressure, three thousand hours of Russian hell. Do you know what a 'walk' is in Russian captivity: they make you run past Russian sadists who beat you with their hands, fists, and sticks. They fed us with what one struggles to call food. One also struggles to call those who tortured me and my comrades people. Those who continue to abuse thousands of Ukrainians in Russian torture cells," he said.

Furthermore, Artem Dyblenko said that Russian butchers have no humanity, and human rights mean nothing to them.

"I understand that expecting justice from the Russian Federation is expecting justice from a serial killer. This serial killer plans his bloody crimes, kills and tortures in cold blood, but pretends to be the greatest humanitarian in the world. This is what the Russian Federation is doing now. It came to Ukraine and is perpetrating genocide against Ukrainians. Today I seek justice in this UN building... Law is not just a word. I seek help for my comrades, because they have no weapons to match their butchers. In captivity, they have no means to protect themselves from beatings, they have no medical care. All they have is faith and love for their Motherland and their families, which they had gone to defend..." noted the serviceman.

He said that in captivity they could but suffer and wait for death. The serviceman called on the international community to help free the Ukrainian prisoners.

"In the cell where they kept me, a prisoner died in my arms. I will hardly be able to forget what I saw in Russian captivity. But it is within your power to make sure that there are fewer people like me. You have the power to stop the torture and abuse of Ukrainian prisoners, to bring them back home as soon as possible. That's all I ask of you. We will end this war with our victory. We are ending it at the cost of the lives of our best people... I ask you to do everything in your power for those who remain in captivity and are fighting for their lives and dignity," Dyblenko said, addressing the UN.

His speech was met with applause from the audience.

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