A pile of gold teeth, which Ukraine alleged had been pulled from civilians by Russian troops to torture them, actually belonged to a local dentist, Bild reported on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry posted a picture on Twitter of what it called “a torture chamber” in Peski Radkovskiye, a town in Kharkov Region. The photo depicted a gas mask, which, according to the ministry, was used to torture the local population, and a box of gold dental crowns lying on the grass.
“How many more will be found in occupied Ukraine?” it asked, hinting that it was Russian troops who had committed the atrocities.
However, according to Bild, the teeth apparently belonged to patients of a local dentist, not to Ukrainian torture victims.
“These teeth look like those stolen from my collection,” Sergey, 60, told the outlet when he was shown the photo distributed by the Ukrainian authorities. “I’m the only dentist here. So if they were found here, they must have come from me.”
When asked if the teeth could have come from dead people, the dentist categorically dismissed the notion. “Oh God, no! They belonged to the people I’ve treated all these years. I pulled out these teeth because they were bad,” he explained.