In The Torture Camp on Paradise Street, Ukrainian journalist and writer Stanislav Aseyev details his experience as a prisoner from 2015 to 2017 in a modern-day concentration camp overseen by the Federal Security Bureau of the Russian Federation (FSB) in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk. This memoir recounts an endless ordeal of psychological and physical abuse, including torture and rape, inflicted upon the author and his fellow inmates over the course of nearly three years of illegal incarceration spent largely in the prison called Izoliatsiia (Isolation). Aseyev also reflects on how a human can survive such atrocities and reenter the world to share his story.
Since February 2022, numerous cases of illegal detainment and extreme mistreatment have been reported in the Ukrainian towns and villages occupied by Russian forces during the full-scale invasion. These and other war crimes committed by Russian troops speak to the horrors wreaked upon Ukrainians forced to live in Russian-occupied zones. It is important to remember, however, that the torture and killing of Ukrainians by Russian security and military forces began long before 2022. Rendered deftly into English, Aseyev’s compelling account offers a critical insight into the operations of Russian forces in the occupied territories of Ukraine.