A plastic box filled with more than 200 tooth caps and dentures was discovered by fighters in the town of Pisky-Rad’kivs’ki in the north of Ukraine, east of the city of Izyum – leading officials to believe they had discovered the site of a Russian torture chamber.
Ukraine’s defence ministry tweeted about the grim discovery, claiming the box was found alongside torture implements.
Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the country’s southern and northeastern regions has seen them retake swathes of territory that had previously been under the control of the Russian military.
When Ukrainian troops regained control of several regions, a series of grim discoveries – notably the bodies of tortured civilians lining the streets of Bucha and buried in mass graves dug in Izyum – began to emerge.
The gold teeth abandoned by retreating Russian troops are the latest finding to prompt an investigation into potential war crimes committed by President Vladimir Putin’s troops.
Residents have confirmed that during the occupation, Russian forces looted and stole “anything and everything”, including gold teeth, “from the living and the dead”, according to the Association of Political Consultants of Ukraine, which has made previous allegations of war crimes against Russia and its leadership.
Dr Denis Bohush, its president, said the discovery of the gold teeth has been reported to the War Crimes Commission for investigation.
He added: “When Ukrainian forces free towns and villages from Russian occupiers, they discover new atrocities. This box of gold teeth was discovered by our forces, which tells another story of Russian atrocities – extracting gold teeth out of the mouths of living and dead Ukrainians.”
The site was first revealed to the public by Serhii Bolvinov, chief investigator in the Kharkiv region.
He said: “Neighbours constantly heard screams from here. Investigators found a terrible torture chamber in the village. Police have been made aware of the torture of being buried alive and the use of a gas mask with a smoldering rag.
“A dildo and a box with torn dentures were also found in the torture chamber.”
It comes as Volodymyr Zelensky says his soldiers are moving rapidly to push back Russian forces in the country’s south, recapturing territory in several regions.
“The Ukrainian army is carrying out a pretty fast and powerful advance in the south of our country as part of the current defence operation. Dozens of settlements have already been liberated from the Russian sham referendum this week alone,” Mr Zelensky said.
According to the latest update from the UK Ministry of Defence, Ukrainian formations have advanced up to 20km (12 miles) beyond the river into Russia’s defensive zone towards the town of Svatove.
Meanwhile Kirill Stremousov, a Russian-installed official in Kherson region, has said that Russian forces in Kherson are regrouping for a counterattack
The state-owned news agency RIA reported quoted him as saying that forces were “conducting a regrouping in order to gather their strength and deliver a retaliatory blow”.
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