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Biden Singles Out Russia On World Torture Day

Left to Right: Collage photos of US President Joe Biden and Russian President Viladmir Putin.

Russia President Vladimir Putin has expressed gratitude towards the Wagner Group fighters who chose not to engage in further conflict.


He commended those soldiers and commanders who made the “only right decision” by avoiding bloodshed and halting their advance. Putin emphasized that these fighters would have the option to continue serving Russia by entering into contracts with the Ministry of Defense or other law enforcement agencies.

“I thank those soldiers and commanders of the Wagner Group who made the only right decision — they did not go for fratricidal bloodshed, they stopped at the last line,” Putin said in an address to the nation.

Alternatively, they could return to their families and friends or seek refuge in Belarus if they so desired. Notably, Putin did not mention Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin by name during his speech.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Photo/courtesy

Earlier on the same day, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the alleged leader of the Wagner Group, broke his silence in an audio message. This was his first public statement since reportedly agreeing to leave Russia for Belarus as part of a deal to end the insurrection. However, Belarusian officials were unable to confirm whether Prigozhin had arrived in their country.

Meanwhile, United States President Joe Biden issued a statement on the occasion of the United Nations day for the support of torture victims, where he specifically called out the “appalling brutality” exhibited by Russian authorities both domestically and in occupied Ukraine.

Biden highlighted evidence of severe mistreatment by members of Russia’s forces, including torture used to coerce cooperation with occupation authorities and during interrogations. These abusive practices allegedly involved beatings, electrical shock, mock executions, and sexual violence.

United States President Joe Biden PHOTO/COURTESY

“Torture destroys lives, families, and communities. Yet, every day, people around the world are subjected to this horrific violation of their human rights and human dignity,” Biden said.

Biden further drew attention to other global instances of torture and human rights abuses. He mentioned the tens of thousands of Syrians who remain forcibly disappeared and subjected to torture, with their families often left in the dark about their fate and whereabouts.

Additionally, he highlighted widespread credible reports of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane, and degrading punishment in North Korea, including the abuse of women through sexual violence, forced abortion, and forced sterilization.

Read also: UN Chief Criticised for Excluding Israeli Forces from List of Shame, Adds Russian Military

While addressing these issues, Biden did not explicitly reference the reports of torture conducted by US security services in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba.

However, he emphasized the need for the United States to uphold the same standards it holds other countries to, stating that “no country is immune” and reaffirming the nation’s commitment to human rights.

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