The New York TimesThe New York Times

'It was horror': Liberated Ukrainians share tales of occupation

By Carlotta Gall

21 Oct 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

"Ruling through violence." The New York Times details stories of abuse and torture of civilians in one Ukrainian town that was until recently occupied by Russian troops.

BALAKLIYA, Ukraine — Russian troops spent weeks searching for Mariya, the 65-year-old common-law wife of a serving Ukrainian army officer.

Twice, she said, they ransacked her cottage in a village outside the town of Balakliya, Ukraine, and when they did eventually detain her months later, they tortured her repeatedly under interrogation, using electric shocks and threats of rape.

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