Since Cherson was liberated on November 11, the extent of the Russian occupation has become apparent. A Conflict Observatory report concludes that Russia used lists of names and license plates to target people. Many are still missing.
Hundreds of Ukrainians have been arrested and many have disappeared during the Russian occupation of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. This emerges from a study by the US University of Yale. The Conflict Observatory research group, whose work is supported by the US State Department, counted 226 unlawful arrests and enforced disappearances. About a quarter of the people were believed to have been tortured, and five of them died in captivity.
According to the report, the Russian military and the Russian secret service FSB were behind most of the cases. Those affected were men of military age, including civil servants, teachers, law enforcement officials and journalists.
Sources are also quoted as saying that after the Russian occupiers took Kherson in March, lists of names and license plates were used to target people they believed might oppose them. Crimean Tatars have also been targeted, many of whom have been accused of belonging to what Russia has labeled a "terrorist" Tatar group. The behavior pattern of the detainees shows that it is a matter of a "deliberate campaign," it said.
While some of those arrested have been released, many remain detained or missing since Russian forces withdrew from Kherson on November 11. The families were not given any information about the fate of their loved ones either.
The report makes it clear "that the Russian armed forces must be held accountable for the crimes they allegedly committed in Kherson."