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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

A destroyed Russian command center is seen on September 29, in Izium, Ukraine. On September 9th, Ukranian armed forces hit the center that was known as a jail and torture chamber. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

More than 20 suspected Russian “torture chambers” have been found in the northeast territory recently retaken from Russian forces, a top police official said.

“In almost all large cities and towns, where military units of the Russian army were based, they set up such places of detention of civilians and prisoners of war and tortured them,” said Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the regional police, adding that one was in the town of Pisky-Radkivski.

The most common torture techniques were electric shocks and severe beatings with sticks and other objects, he said, adding that there were also cases of nails being pulled out and the use of gas masks to restrict breathing.

Bolvinov cited testimony from a 67-year-old man in Izium, who the Russians accused of assisting Ukrainian targeting.

According to Bolvinov:

This man was taken to the local police department and later had a black hood put over his head. One of his interrogators had put a gun to his head and demanded to know to whom he had given the coordinates of targets. When he denied doing so, they used a pipe or bat on his hands and broke his arm. The man had testified that later his captors had pushed metal spokes from a bicycle wheel under his skin, and beat him. His injuries included internal bleeding and he was now in a Kharkiv hospital, according to Bolvinov.

CNN has not been able to verify the regional police chief’s account.

Bolvinov also said there were also criminal proceedings underway regarding allegations of rape.

“We understand that it is very difficult for victims to testify about such facts. However, there are proceedings that we have registered, there are appeals from women who were raped. We have information about the alleged facts of rapes in torture chambers,” Bolvinov added.

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