Leo Correa, Associated Press
KOZACHA LOPAN, Ukraine – In a damp basement behind the local supermarket, metal bars close off one corner of the room to form a large cell. A dirty sleeping bag and quilts show three places to sleep on polystyrene sheets for damp earth floor insulation. In the corner, two black buckets served as toilets.
A few yards (yards) outside the barred cell, three dilapidated chairs stand around a table, cigarette butts and pumpkin seed pods strewn on the floor around them.
Ukrainian authorities say it was a makeshift prison where Russian forces abused detainees before Ukrainian troops swept into the border village of Kozacha Lopan in a major counteroffensive in the area from Kharkiv this month. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said more than 10 such “torture chambers” had been discovered in the area since the hasty withdrawal of Russian troops last week. Claims of what happened in the room could not be independently confirmed.