The harsh treatment is reportedly punishment for robbery or persecution based on nationality
FILE PHOTO: Members of Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces. © AFP / Felipe Dana
Photos of people in Ukraine being tied to lamp posts and sprayed with green antiseptic dye appeared on social media on Monday. According to reports, they were taken in the western city of Lviv. The victims are reportedly Roma (also known as Gypsies).
Several people, including teenagers and families with women and children, were reportedly tied to lamp posts with duct tape, their faces sprayed with antiseptic dye known as ‘zelyonka’ in former Soviet countries. The green-colored substance is very difficult to wash away and can cause chemical burns to the eyes.
According to local media, the victims were punished for trying to steal from passengers on a bus. However, there are claims on social media that they were only trying to steal food, as they were starving after escaping from Kiev.
Some social media users say the harsh punishment was due to the victims’ nationality. The atrocious act has been blamed on members of Territorial Defense Forces, a recently established volunteer branch of the Ukrainian military. Masked uniformed men are present in pictures from the site.
Lviv, which is located in western Ukraine near the Polish border, has so far been mostly spared by the ongoing conflict in the country. In mid-March, Russia bombed a mercenary base at the Yavoriv range outside the city, saying that up to 180 foreigners who went to fight for Kiev were killed there. Ukraine put the death toll at 35.
Reports of persecution of foreigners and minorities by radicals have also come from other parts of Ukraine since the Russian attack began in late February.