Russian Soldiers Reportedly Carving Nazi Swastikas Into Foreheads of Ukrainian Fighters

Russian Soldiers Reportedly Carving Nazi Swastikas Into Foreheads of Ukrainian Fighters

A doctor treating former Ukrainian prisoners of war has alleged that Russian soldiers carved swastikas into the foreheads of two Ukrainian soldiers they’d taken captured.

As reported by the U.K. Telegraph in December, a man identified as “Serhiy,” a Ukrainian soldier whom the Russians captured in Donetsk in December 2022, was tortured in a basement for two weeks.

His face was mutilated with the Nazi symbol from the hairline to the eyebrows while he was blindfolded with tape.

The Russian government claims its “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine to be a de-Nazification effort aimed at defending the ethnic Russian population in east and south Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asserted that the Ukraine government was organized by neo-Nazis and influenced by the West and has been involved in perpetrating genocide against Russian speakers, according to NBC News.

Reportedly, this is the reason behind the motives of the Russian soldiers to allegedly carve the hate symbol on Serhiy’s forehead and threaten to “take him apart piece by piece,” as reported by the U.K. Sun.

“I want your children to know you’re fascist. That’s why I am cutting deep,” one of the soldiers reportedly told Serhiy, who was eventually released by the Russians as part of a prisoner exchange.

After returning home from Russian captivity, Serhiy has been struggling with severe psychological trauma, according to The Telegraph.

According to The Telegraph, the physician overseeing Serhiy’s treatment is Dr. Olexandr Turkevich, an associate professor of dermatovenereology — a specialty combining dermatology and the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases — at Lviv National Medical University in Lviv, Ukraine.

“The only thing that helps Serhiy is that he sees there is a positive progression from his treatment. It will not only fade the scar he sees in the mirror but help fade the trauma from his memory,” Turkevich said, according to The Telegraph.

Serhiy received two rounds of treatment with picosecond and erbium lasers and is expected to fully recover after the third, The Telegraph reported. He has returned to military service, according to the newspaper.

According to The Sun, Turkevich was “infinitely proud” of the work he was able to do to remove the scar from the soldier’s forehead.

The non-profit Neopalymi aesthetic medicine initiative, an organization to help Ukrainian soldiers who have been severely wounded as a result of torture or “disfiguring injuries,” initiated the treatment for Serhiy.

Thirty clinics around Ukraine have offered to treat wounds like these for free, as the government’s health care system is overloaded and classifies these as “low priority,” according to The Telegraph.

The Telegraph report included a quote from a woman identified as Serhiy’s wife and pictures of what the newspaper said were Serhiy’s scars, but it’s important to remember that inflammatory reports from the war in Ukraine are a weapon of their own in the battle for world opinion.

As the U.K. Daily Mail noted, the story of Serhiy is reminiscent of the 2009 movie from director Quentin Tarentino, which features a scene where a swastika is carved into the forehead of a Nazi officer.

The ongoing conflict has seen both Russia and Ukraine engage in an intense information war, using propaganda to shape narratives and influence public opinion.

Ukraine, for example, has faced criticism for presenting outdated photos as current, such as those of President Zelenskyy purportedly on the front lines just days following the initial Russian invasion.

And the Russian government is relentless in portraying the Ukraine government as dominated by Nazis, as The New York Times noted in 2022.

However, if the allegations about the torture prove true, it serves as a stark reminder of the brutality of wars and the capacity for humans to commit heinous acts under extreme conditions.

Such incidents demonstrate the urgent need for international efforts to prevent and address war crimes and support the victims of war.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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