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THE Dontesk People’s Republic (DPR) militia claimed on Tuesday to have found a neonazi torture dungeon after capturing Mariupol airport, as battle continues to rage in the besieged Ukrainian city.
According to the DPR press service, the prison was discovered by its people’s militia after it had defeated gunmen from the far-right Azov Battalion at the airport.
Large quantities of weapons, ammunition and food were found and airport terminals had been turned into makeshift barracks, the militia said.
“A prison was found where they had kept and tortured people; supposedly it was the notorious secret prison ‘Biblioteka,’ the agency said.
“Iron doors with slots for passing food and conversations; there were several such rooms and an area for walks in the end of the windowless corridor, with barbed wire at high ceilings,” the DPR militia said.
“Ukrainian nationalists set up a veritable prison on the airport premises where they had tortured to death innocent people.”
Investigations into alleged war crimes are ongoing, the militia said, although no details were given and it is not thought that any prisoners were found.
Mariupol has been under siege for weeks, amid growing reports of starvation and civilians being denied access to water and medicine.
Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky has described the Russian encirclement of the Black Sea port city as a war crime, alleging that some 90 per cent of the city has been reduced to rubble.
Reports from those who have managed to escape the city, however, claim that members of the Ukrainian armed forces have threatened to shoot anyone that leaves.
They accused the Azov Battalion of using them as human shields, placing military equipment in their homes and other civilian areas.
Footage circulating online showing Roma people in Lviv with their faces painted green and tied to lampposts has caused outrage.
In the disturbing images, familes are seen tied up, with individuals being beaten for alleged crimes of pickpocketing and looting.
Some groups have sought to play down the incidents, suggesting that Russia is using them as propaganda to portray Ukraine as under the control of far-right forces.
In an address to the French parliament today, Mr Zelensky urged companies to quit Russia.
“Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin and others must stop sponsoring Russia’s war machine,” he said. “They must stop financing the murders of women and children.”
This coincided with Nato leaders agreeing to increase the alliance’s military presence in Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania.
Poland, meanwhile, expelled 45 Russian diplomats, accusing them of using their status to gather intelligence.
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