The grainy film, released by a psychiatrist from the Russian city of Briansk, shows several residents of the Trubchevsk Psycho-Neurological Institution near Briansk chained to objects by their wrists or ankles.
The video prompted several former staff members to come forward, with two former nurses confirming the practice of chaining people with psychosocial disabilities to their beds or radiators.
They also said the practice was used for those believed to be suicidal.
A former kitchen worker said she recognised the patients in the video. She said staff regularly brought some residents to the dining hall chained to each other, and even forced them to eat in handcuffs.
One former nurse said "unruly" patients would be chained, forcibly sedated or placed in solitary confinement.
“Others are practically immobile and the staff don’t want visitors to see them crawling around the grounds,” she added.
The former staff said chains and handcuffs were mostly used in wing five of the institute, known as the "Mercy Wing."
Shackling is prohibited under Russian and international law and Human Rights Watch has called for a full investigation into the allegations.
"Authorities should properly investigate these damning allegations and make sure that people in such institutions around Russia are treated with the dignity they deserve," Yulia Gorbunova, a researcher for the group focusing on Russia and Belarus, said.
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