This week it became known about the atrocities that the Russian military committed against Ukrainians in the occupied territory. The Russian army, having conquered the city, hunted some of its inhabitants, especially the military and volunteers, as well as relatives of the Ukrainian security forces. Rape, suffocation, watering and beatings are just some of the brutal methods used by Russian troops in more than 35 “dungeons” in Kherson, one of the first cities to fall into the hands of Kremlin soldiers last year. incursions into Vladimir Putin. The report from the Mobile Justice Team, part of the Atrocity Investigation Advisory Group, about Kherson is heartbreaking.
lived there Mariano Garcia Calatayud, a Spaniard who left the Valencian Community to live in Kherson with his Ukrainian wife. During the Russian occupation, García Calatayud took part in a protest against the invading troops in March 2022. He was captured, and for many years his relatives did not know anything about his fate. So far, in April, Moscow has not officially recognized his detention. Diplomatic sources at the Spanish Foreign Ministry say that “the embassy is following this case with concern and how much news can be received about the possible whereabouts of García Calatayud.”
Concern is growing, and even the non-governmental organization Amnesty International has begun collecting signatures. “His health is seriously deteriorating and steps must be taken urgently to release him.” They also recall that “secret detention is illegal and enforced disappearance is a crime under international law”.
Given the great secrecy, we asked the Ukrainian MP Alexander Gorenyuk for the García Calatayud situation.
“I bought and distributed food at the front for the Ukrainian military, collected clothes, school supplies and food for orphans in the gray zone,” Gorenyuk explains. The Odessa MP notes that “Garcia Calatayud has been without contact with the outside world for more than a year, and neither his family nor his lawyer can access or even contact him.”
Some Ukrainian detainees who were tortured in Simferopol on the annexed Crimean peninsula said they matched a Spanish citizen. “The occupation of Crimea has become the arena of new Russian aggressions against our country. Kidnappings, torture, threats and killings of pro-Ukrainian activists began in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014,” says Gorenyuk of the Servant of the People party, as does the Ukrainian president, Vladimir Zelensky.
“Since 2022, all this has been happening in the newly occupied territories, and their number has increased many times over. Cases of torture of civilian hostages were repeatedly reported in this place of detention. There is information that torture was also used against Garcia Calatayud,” he says.
Torturing civilians is a war crime, which is not surprising for Gorenyuk. “During Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the invaders committed a “wide range” of war crimes. This is the face of the aggressor country,” the deputy emphasizes, emphasizing that they are committed not only against military personnel, “civilians with pro-Ukrainian views also become victims: Garcia Calatayud was an active volunteer in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, participated in rallies in Kherson after February 24, 2022 and help the children. It was his active position that became the reason for the kidnapping of the volunteer.
About the whereabouts of this elderly Spaniard, Kholeniusk explains that “he was transferred from Kherson to SIZO-1 in Simferopol, in the temporarily occupied Crimea.” Later, he was “transferred to the new SIZO-2, where he is currently,” he concludes.