Ukrainian Medic Apologizes After Saying Russian POWs Should Be Castrated

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Ukrainian Medic Apologizes After Saying Russian POWs Should Be Castrated

A Ukrainian frontline medic
has apologized for declaring that Russian prisoners of war would be castrated
on national television.

Since Russia’s invasion, the
Ukrainian military has not been shy about sharing gory details about Russian
troops they’ve captured and killed. The latest news of a military medic’s
directive to castrate Russian soldiers has backfired.

Gennadiy Druzenko, 49, the
owner of a war zone mobile hospital in Eastern Ukraine, said he instructed his
medical staff to “castrate captured Russian soldiers” because they
are “cockroaches, not people,” Russian news agency RT reports.

“Trust me, [Russian
President Vladimir] Putin’s military hardware burns well. The corpses of
‘Putinoids’ may stink, but they become unthreatening,” he said, according
to RT.

RT says Druzenko also implied
Russian prisoners of war “will die in very large numbers” so that
surviving Russians remember Ukraine with terror “like the Germans
remembered Stalingrad.”

On Monday, YouTube blocked the
entire Livestream segment, which included the interview, after it drew public
backlash.

Druzenko, a constitutional
lawyer-turned-volunteer frontline medic, apologized for his words after
receiving death threats. In a short Facebook post, Druzenko took back
his words and added a screenshot that appears to be a threat addressed to him.

A Ukrainian military medic
apologizes after saying Russian prisoners of war would be castrated on TV,
saying his emotions got the best of him. Above, Ukrainian servicemen stand
guard in Kyiv on Monday.

He said his hospital
“does not castrate anyone and is not going to. Those were the emotions.
I’m sorry. We are saving lives. Period,” the post said.

The Russian Investigative
Committee opened a criminal case into the comments made by Druzenko, which
means that he could face trial under Russian law, according to RT.

A statement from the
hospital’s website says Druzenko’s comments were “prompted by threats
against Gennadiy and his family personally.” The statement also claims
that his words were taken out of context and “propagated by Russian
propaganda channels.”

Druzenko heads the Pirogov
First Volunteer Mobile Hospital, a unit of civilian medics that has been
providing services to Ukrainian troops since 2014. He is an acclaimed figure at
home and has received numerous awards for his work from the Defense Ministry
and the National Security Council, according to RT.

In March, Amnesty
International called on the Ukrainian government to protect Russian
prisoners of war and treat them humanely.

“As the conflict
continues, it is essential that all parties to the conflict fully respect the
rights of prisoners of war,” said Joanne Mariner, director of Amnesty
International’s Crisis Response Programme.

Druzenko’s threat of
castration would violate the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit
“violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds,
mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.”

Newsweek reached out to
the Ukrainian embassy for comment.

 

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