The seven Sri Lankan medical students who were allegedly kidnapped and tortured by Russian military in the Kharkiv region close to the Russian border, where there has been fierce fighting for months, have been the subject of horrifying facts revealed by a Ukrainian journalist.
According to Maria Romanenko, a Ukrainian journalist reporting from the UK, the six men and one women were abused, had their nails pulled off, and were made to work for no pay.
The seven students, who range in age from 20 to 40, arrived in Ukraine about three weeks prior to the full-scale invasion in March. They rented a home in Kupiansk, a town that was taken over by Russian soldiers and remained there until it was recently recaptured by the Ukrainian army. She stated that they spent some time hiding in their home before deciding to make a break for Kharkiv.
They attempted to pass the first Russian checkpoint, but were turned back. She said the town of Vovchansk, which was also occupied by Russian soldiers until a few days ago, was nearby when the Russians blindfolded them and took them there.
“The seven Sri Lankans attempted to go by foot to Kharkiv once more after Ukraine had liberated the territories. On their route, they came upon a hotel, and the security guy there took them in, looked after them, and dialled 911. Now that they are secure, the police are looking into their case.” the Ukrainian Journalist added.
Authorities have not yet released the names of the seven students. News First has contacted the Russian and Ukrainian authorities regarding the students’ story, but so yet no information has been returned. The foreign ministry of Sri Lanka stated it is looking into the situation. The Ukrainian journalist’s account has not been independently verified by News First.