On Tuesday, footage on Ukrainian social media appeared to show uniformed men abusing and harassing captives. The mayor of the city, near where the incidents occurred, justified the violence, characterizing the detainees as “criminal bosses” who had previously attacked members of the region’s militia.
Two separate videos show armed soldiers dressed in military fatigues brutally arresting men dressed in civilian clothes. The soldiers are wearing blue armbands similar to those worn by Ukrainian military to indicate their allegiance, RT reports.
In one video, soldiers are seen kicking and punching a man who is standing with his legs spread and bowing down, blood visible. The offenders then shift their attention to another man, who has a bleeding face and pants that appear to be stained with urine, for which they insult him.
The soldiers interrogated the detainees, asking if they respected the military and whether they were criminals. The standing man could be heard shouting “glory to Ukraine” and denying any guilt, clearly terrified.
The second video shows a dozen uniformed men brutally assaulting at least four men who are laying on the ground while handcuffing them. The troops may be seen kicking the heads of some of their detainees. One of the detainees looks to be wearing the same blue coat as one of the men in the first video.
The mayor of Dnepr, Boris Filatov, confirmed on social media that the video of the beatings was real, and that it showed SBU commandos making arrests in Pavlograd. He didn’t post the videos to his account because he was afraid of being banned if he did.
He claimed the people targeted were “criminal bosses” who reportedly harmed civilians and beat up members of Ukraine’s Territorial Guard militias. Boris Filatov observed that the “thugs literally pissed their pants when the guys got tough on them.”
The arrest, according to the official, served as a good warning to “every looter, criminal, and degenerate” that punishment was inevitable.