A Ukrainian woman from the recently liberated Ukrainian city of Izyum has given a shocking account of being detained, raped, and tortured by Russian soldiers.

Fifty-two-year-old Alla told The Washington Post that when enemy forces captured Izyum in March, Russian officials began visiting her home, threatening both her and her husband to give them details about their son, who was absent from the city.

With each visit, Alla claims, the Russians became more aggressive, checking her mobile phone, confiscating photographs, and insisting that her son start collaborating with Russia.

“They were threatening us all the time, telling me that if my son collaborated with them, they wouldn’t touch us and everything would be good,” Alla said. “We lived in constant fear.”


Eventually, the Russian-appointed mayor of Izyum, accompanied by men who identified themselves as Federal Security Service (FSB) agents, arrived at her home and demanded that Alla return to her job at a gas company in Kharkiv to help restore the supply.

Refusing their request, Alla insisted she did not have the expertise they required. The following day, on July 1, two cars marked with the Russian “Z” symbol arrived at her home. Russian troops arrested Alla and her husband, forced bags over their heads, tied their hands with duct tape, and orderedthem into the boots of both cars.

When the cars eventually arrived at their destination – a nearby medical facility – Alla says she was dragged out and told by one of her captors: “We’ll beat the Ukrainian out of you here, you won’t come out of here alive.” She was then thrown into a small shed with a concrete floor, while her husband was locked away in a nearby garage. They remained captives for ten horrific days.

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An hour after being brought to the facility, six men returned to fetch Alla, taking her to another room and demanding that she undress.

“They forcefully undressed me, laid me on the table and started touching me everywhere,” Alla said.” Then they threw me on my knees, screaming, ‘Oh you are Ukrainian. Do you know what we do with Ukrainian women and mothers of Ukraine’s Security Service officers?’ We tie them up naked on the main square and send pictures of them to their sons so they can see what we can do to their parents’.”


“I started crying and screaming,” Alla continued. “But he took my clothes off and asked his soldiers who would be the first to rape me. After the first brutal rape, Alla said she could hear her husband crying out whilst being beaten, and that the commander gloated to him that he had just raped his wife. “I was determined to commit suicide,” she said.

“There were some spikes inside the barn, and I had a bra so I thought of hanging myself. It did not work out. I started crying, I was crying all the time. They heard me crying and came back and started harassing me again.”

During her ten-day detainment, Alla was repeatedly raped, beaten, and on one occasion tortured by having electric shocks delivered to her feet. “I cannot express what kind of pain it was,” she said, adding that she was surprised to have been eventually released, along with her husband.


The couple have since returned to the site of their traumatic captivity. On a wall in the shed, Alla showed reporters from The Washington Post a section where she had scratched her name and listed some of the brutal crimes Russian troops had committed against her.

Alla’s harrowing account is just one of a growing number of war crimes found to have been committed by Russian invaders in recently liberated regions of Ukraine.

To date, evidence has revealed widespread acts of murder, rape, torture, and other war crimes committed by Russian forces in areas such as Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, and, most recently, in Lyman and Izyum.

Last week, Ukrainian authorities confirmed they had found two mass graves in Lyman, with a senior police official telling Ukrinform that one grave alone contained 180 bodies, and a regional governor saying a second contained 200.


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