Disappearances during the Russian Occupation and Ukrainian PoWs – blood Donors for russian Soldiers. The Latest News from the MIHR

Wounded russian soldiers may use the blood of captured Ukrainians, says russiaMeanwhile, belarus has become a transit point for people taken in Kyiv Oblast and a camp for Ukrainians displaced under the pretext of «evacuation» with no right to return home. See more in this digest from Media Initiative For Human Rights.

Russian State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party Sergei Leonov proposes to make Ukrainians donors for the Russian occupation forces. April, 2022

Blood for wounded russian soldiers and civilians that «have suffered as a result of shelling by Ukrainian army» may be taken from Ukrainian PoWs, said russian MP Sergey Leonov. Information about forced blood transfusion also comes from the occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.According to lawyer Dmytro Popovsky, it’s a gross violation. On enemy territory, which is russia, blood may only be donated voluntarily. Any medical procedures on prisoners, unless necessitated by their state of health, are illegal and are considered war crimes. This is stated in Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions.

Lawyer Dmytro Popovsky

«The Geneva Conventions clearly state what medical procedures may be used on prisoners of war, and there’s nothing there about blood donations,» says lawyer Dmytro Popovsky.

Taking blood for transfusion from captives was something Nazis did in World War II. In their concentration camps, such as Buchenwald, in addition to experimenting on prisoners, they took their blood for their wounded soldiers – not just from PoWs, but from civilians too, even children.

Prisoners of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany. It operated from 1937 to 1945


The russian troops are grabbing civilians and soldiers alike. During the occupation of Irpen, Bucha, Hostomel and Borodyanka in Kyiv Oblast, people were taken right from their own yards, or simply walking the streets.

Oleg Gordiychuk from Hostomel had his legs shot by russian soldiers near his house. Then, together with his son and wife, he was taken to the Hostomel airport in an armored personnel carrier. Oleg was put in an inoperative cold room of a diner, while his family was kept elsewhere. He didn’t know where they were. He was only able to see his son in Naroulia, belarus, where Ukrainians taken in Kyiv Oblast were brought. Father and son didn’t have long to be together – Oleg was soon taken to russia’s kursk.

The investigative committee in which Russians interrogate Ukrainians, April 2022

Oleg was taken to SIZO (pretrial detention center) No. 1 at 1 Pirogova Street. Having asked about his status, he was told, «you are a person that interferes with the special military operation.» The SIZO could hold 140 people. Oleg doesn’t know whether it was filled to capacity. He remained there for about a month until he was released in a prisoner exchange. According to Oleg, detainees were interrogated, some twenty times over. One of his cellmates died from the beatings. Medical assistance was «zero,» says Oleg. He feared that his shot legs would have to be amputated.

Those who were hiding from shelling in basements were taken to belarus along a different route, under the guise of «evacuation». Relatives of these Ukrainians are now unable to get them back. «No one is getting released as long as hostilities are ongoing in Ukraine,» goes the response of russia’s military.

Detention of civilians is a war crime, says CrimeaSOS analyst Yevgeniy Yaroshenko. According to him, the claims that detained Ukrainians are «persons that interfere with the special military operation» are a baseless narrative.

Yevgeniy Yaroshenko, CrimeaSOS analyst
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