Ukraine's Ministry of Defense shares photos of 'war prisoner', appear to show effect of captivity

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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With no end to the Russia-Ukraine War in sight, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has shared images of an alleged war prisoner, in an attempt to show the effects of captivity on the human body.

According to CNN - which was unable to independently identify or verify the authenticity of the images - the photographs depict Ukrainian soldier, Mykhailo Dianov, before he was captured by Russian forces, and after he was released from captivity.

The images were shared by Ukraine's Ministry of Defense on Friday (September 23) on their Twitter account, captioning them: "Ukrainian soldier Mykhailo Dianov is among the fortunate ones: in contrast with some of his fellow [prisoners of war], he survived Russian captivity. This is how Russia 'adheres' to the Geneva Conventions. This is how Russia continues the shameful legacy of Nazism."

Speaking to Ukrainska Pravda, a woman who claims to be Dianov's sister, Alona Lavrushko, said the images were of her brother. "His physical condition is serious, of course. But mentally… Mykhailo is very strong. He is extremely happy that he is back. He says, 'I am walking and breathing clean, free air,'" Lavrushko told the publication.

She also commented on the status of his right arm, which appeared badly injured in the images. "He has a problem with his arm: there may be an abscess. Next he needs to have surgery to insert a plate on the bone, because he is missing 4 cm of bone in his arm and all this needs to be corrected," she said.

"They pulled out the object lodged in his arm without anaesthesic, without anything – using rusty pliers. They pulled that metal out of his arm with pliers... That was the kind of help our guys were getting," she added.

The as yet to be verified images - that have almost 50,000 likes on Twitter - come amid Russian President Vladimir Putin's televised announcement that he will be deploying 300,000 Russian citizens to Ukraine.

This was following Ukraine's surprise offensive that recaptured Ukraine's Kharkiv province and forced Russian troops to retreat, as previously reported.

Modern tensions between Ukraine and Russia date back to the political status of Crimea and the Donbas in 2014.

These tensions escalated when Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year. Reuters has estimated that, since then, up to $350 billion of property has been damaged, 14 million people have been displaced, and at least 29,900 people have died in the bloody war.

Russia is currently under investigation for a number of war crimes committed in Ukraine - including murder, mass systematic rape, wanton destruction of cities and towns, and torture, per Forbes.

wp-image-1263169970 size-full
Russia is currently under investigation for a number of war crimes committed in Ukraine, including wanton destruction of cities and towns - like Dmytrivka village, Kyiv region (pictured in April, 2022). Credit: Yuliia Bilousova / Alamy

Russian citizens, wary of potentially being conscripted to fight in Ukraine, have hurriedly booked one-way flights out of the country - despite Russia's Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, declaring that only military reserves with professional experience in the armed forces will be prioritized, adding that students and conscripts would not be called to fight.

Google Searches for "как сломать руку в домашни? условия?" or "how to break an arm at home" were among the top search queries in Russia following Putin's announcement - evidently demonstrating that Russians would resort to desperate measures to avoid being conscripted.

So far, the conflict has displaced millions of Ukrainians - who have fled to neighbouring nations and many countries across Europe. The UNHCR has detailed that this war has driven the number of those forcibly displaced worldwide to over 100 million people - an unprecedented number.

Featured image credit: Maxim Ermolenko / Alamy

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense shares photos of 'war prisoner', appear to show effect of captivity

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

With no end to the Russia-Ukraine War in sight, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has shared images of an alleged war prisoner, in an attempt to show the effects of captivity on the human body.

According to CNN - which was unable to independently identify or verify the authenticity of the images - the photographs depict Ukrainian soldier, Mykhailo Dianov, before he was captured by Russian forces, and after he was released from captivity.

The images were shared by Ukraine's Ministry of Defense on Friday (September 23) on their Twitter account, captioning them: "Ukrainian soldier Mykhailo Dianov is among the fortunate ones: in contrast with some of his fellow [prisoners of war], he survived Russian captivity. This is how Russia 'adheres' to the Geneva Conventions. This is how Russia continues the shameful legacy of Nazism."

Speaking to Ukrainska Pravda, a woman who claims to be Dianov's sister, Alona Lavrushko, said the images were of her brother. "His physical condition is serious, of course. But mentally… Mykhailo is very strong. He is extremely happy that he is back. He says, 'I am walking and breathing clean, free air,'" Lavrushko told the publication.

She also commented on the status of his right arm, which appeared badly injured in the images. "He has a problem with his arm: there may be an abscess. Next he needs to have surgery to insert a plate on the bone, because he is missing 4 cm of bone in his arm and all this needs to be corrected," she said.

"They pulled out the object lodged in his arm without anaesthesic, without anything – using rusty pliers. They pulled that metal out of his arm with pliers... That was the kind of help our guys were getting," she added.

The as yet to be verified images - that have almost 50,000 likes on Twitter - come amid Russian President Vladimir Putin's televised announcement that he will be deploying 300,000 Russian citizens to Ukraine.

This was following Ukraine's surprise offensive that recaptured Ukraine's Kharkiv province and forced Russian troops to retreat, as previously reported.

Modern tensions between Ukraine and Russia date back to the political status of Crimea and the Donbas in 2014.

These tensions escalated when Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year. Reuters has estimated that, since then, up to $350 billion of property has been damaged, 14 million people have been displaced, and at least 29,900 people have died in the bloody war.

Russia is currently under investigation for a number of war crimes committed in Ukraine - including murder, mass systematic rape, wanton destruction of cities and towns, and torture, per Forbes.

wp-image-1263169970 size-full
Russia is currently under investigation for a number of war crimes committed in Ukraine, including wanton destruction of cities and towns - like Dmytrivka village, Kyiv region (pictured in April, 2022). Credit: Yuliia Bilousova / Alamy

Russian citizens, wary of potentially being conscripted to fight in Ukraine, have hurriedly booked one-way flights out of the country - despite Russia's Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, declaring that only military reserves with professional experience in the armed forces will be prioritized, adding that students and conscripts would not be called to fight.

Google Searches for "как сломать руку в домашни? условия?" or "how to break an arm at home" were among the top search queries in Russia following Putin's announcement - evidently demonstrating that Russians would resort to desperate measures to avoid being conscripted.

So far, the conflict has displaced millions of Ukrainians - who have fled to neighbouring nations and many countries across Europe. The UNHCR has detailed that this war has driven the number of those forcibly displaced worldwide to over 100 million people - an unprecedented number.

Featured image credit: Maxim Ermolenko / Alamy