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Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison in first war crimes trial of Ukraine war

Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison in first war crimes trial of Ukraine war

Civilians evacuated from Mariupol arrive on the Russian filtration camp in Bezimenne in japanese Ukraine on Might 1. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

“What would occur if we lower off your ear?” the troopers requested Oleksandr Vdovychenko. Then they hit him within the head.

The punches saved coming at any time when his interrogators — a combination of Russian troopers and pro-Russian separatists — did not like his solutions, he later advised his household.

The lads requested about his politics, his future plans, his views on the battle. They checked his paperwork, took his fingerprints and stripped him to examine if he had any nationalist tattoos or marks attributable to sporting or carrying army gear.

“They have been making an attempt to beat one thing out of him,” his daughter Maria Vdovychenko advised CNN in an interview.

Maria stated her father obtained so many blows to his head in the course of the interrogation final month that a number of medical examinations have now confirmed his sight has been completely broken.

But Oleksandr was one of many fortunate ones. He made it by “filtration.”

When Russian troops first began taking on villages and cities in japanese Ukraine in early March, following their invasion of the nation, proof started to emerge of civilians being pressured to endure humiliating identification checks and infrequently violent questioning earlier than being allowed to leave their homes and journey to areas nonetheless underneath Ukrainian management.

Three months into the battle, the dehumanizing course of generally known as filtration has turn out to be a part of the truth of life underneath Russian occupation.

CNN spoke to quite a few Ukrainians who’ve gone by the filtration course of over the past two months. Many are too scared to talk publicly, fearing for the protection of kin and pals who’re nonetheless making an attempt to flee Russian-held areas.

The entire individuals CNN spoke to have described dealing with threats and humiliation in the course of the course of. Many have witnessed or know of people that have been picked up by Russian troops or separatist troopers and subsequently disappeared with out a hint.

Learn extra:

Ukrainians must endure a brutal 'filtration' process to escape Russian-held territory. Here's what that means

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