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Head of notorious Russian torture prison in occupied Donetsk sentenced to 15 years

by Martin Fornusek January 3, 2024 2:55 PM 1 min read
(Stanislav Aseev/Facebook)
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A district court in Kyiv sentenced Denys Kulikovskyi, also known under the nickname Palych, the former head of the Russian-run Izolyatsia prison in occupied Donetsk, to 15 years in jail with confiscation of property, Suspilne reported on Jan. 3.

Russian forces established the notorious torture camp at the premises of a former factory and art center Izolyatsia ("isolation") in Donetsk after capturing the city in 2014.

It became known as a site of illegal imprisonment and torture of many Ukrainian prisoners of war, activists, journalists, and other civilians.

The prison's former head was convicted on the charges of terrorism, cruel treatment of prisoners, and participation in an illegal armed formation. The court acquitted him of the human trafficking charges due to a lack of evidence, Suspilne said.

Kulikovskyi's prison sentence will be counted from Nov. 9, 2021, when he was arrested. He must also pay Hr 400,000 ($10,480) and Hr 95,000 ($2,500) to two of his victims under two civil claims, LB.ua reported.

A Ukrainian and a native of Donetsk Oblast, Kulikovskyi joined Russian proxy forces in 2014 and headed the Izolyatsia prison approximately between 2015 and 2018.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained him in Kyiv in November 2021, after which the Mariupol court ordered his arrest without bail.

Many former prisoners of Izolyatsia, such as journalist Stanislav Aseyev, testified on abysmal conditions and brutal treatment in what they called a concentration camp and on Kulikovskyi's role in particular.

According to testimonies, Kulikovskyi sentenced many people to torture and sometimes participated himself, applying methods of psychological terror like mock executions.

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