'I'm Dying!': Ukraine's SBU Filmed Beating, Humiliating Compatriots
16:08 GMT 05.04.2022 (Updated: 16:13 GMT 05.04.2022)
Presumed SBU operatives beating the detainees
Previously, units of the Ukrainian territorial defence were caught behaving as vigilantes against looters, tying them half-naked to traffic signs and street lamps at the end of February, and shooting civilians whom they suspected of sympathising with Russia.
A new video showing ruthless actions by Ukraine's main security service – the SBU – has emerged online. The footage depicts a group of SBU operatives, wearing blue armbands, service patches on their backs, and shouting "this is an SBU operation" at one point, beating a group of people on the ground who were not resisting or fighting back. At least several SBU operatives are seen beating those on the ground in their heads with both their fists and feet in apparent acts of unprovoked violence against the detainees.
One of the individuals is heard repeatedly pleading "I'm dying" as his bloodied head is pinned to the ground by the boot of an SBU operative, while another tells him to "shut the f**k up".
The second half of the footage shows a group of detainees standing against a wall with their hands in handcuffs. One of them pleads for a chance to explain himself only to be rudely ordered to be quiet, as an SBU operative beats him in his legs until he falls, demands that he stand up and brutally beats him again, when he fails to follow the command immediately.
It is unclear, when or why the SBU decided to detain these men, but one of them is heard in the video shouting obscenities directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin and chanting "Glory to Ukraine", prompting social media users to allege that the SBU was assaulting pro-Russian Ukrainians. Such statements and chants are often repeated by Ukrainian nationalists and could have been used by the arrested individuals to try to prove that they were not pro-Russia-minded Ukrainians.
23 July 2019, 04:45 GMT
The mayor of Ukrainian city Dniepropetrovsk, Borys Filatov, said he could confirm the authenticity of the video, specifying that it was filmed in the city of Pavlograd. He claimed that these people were "criminals" and had been arrested and assaulted for allegedly beating members of territorial defence. The mayor compared them with looters, criminals and moral degenerates, who will "inevitably face retribution". Filatov also defended the SBU's unprovoked violence against the detainees and rebuked those who accuse the Security Services of "abuse of authority".
The SBU is not the only force that has been recently abusing its power in Ukraine. The units of territorial defence, recruited from volunteers around Ukraine, were caught on several occasions acting as vigilantes against people looting shops, including for groceries, tying them with their pants down to road signs, traffic lights and street lamps despite the freezing weather. The territorial defence fighters, who are mostly armed with assault rifles, were also repeatedly spotted shooting civilians on sight, who either breached curfew or simply looked "pro-Russian", according to various reports.