kyiv would have “brutally” executed more than 10 of its soldiers who had laid down their arms, according to Russia, which denounces a “war crime”.
L’Ukraine guilty of war crimes? Moscow accuses kyiv on Friday of having “brutally” executed more than 10 of its soldiers who had laid down their arms. “No one will be able to present the deliberate and methodical murder of more than 10 Russian soldiers who were immobilized […]with direct shots to the head, as a ‘tragic exception’,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
This accusation comes after the publication on Russian social networks of two videos of about thirty seconds each, presented by these Russian sources as showing the execution of soldiers who had just surrendered to the Ukrainian forces. In the first video, taken with a mobile phone, we see a group of men in military fatigues coming out one after another with their hands up from a building in the courtyard of a house and lying face down ground, under the injunction of soldiers wearing a yellow armband and holding them at gunpoint.
At the moment when a last dark silhouette appears on the left, the video is abruptly interrupted at the same time as a burst sounds. The second video, taken from a height, possibly with a drone, shows a dozen bodies lying amid pools of blood. One of the bodies appears to have been hit in the head. The presence in both videos of a wheelbarrow and a red children’s car in the garden seems to indicate that they are the same place. However, it was not immediately possible to know where, when, by whom and under what circumstances these images were taken.
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UN reviews videos
The Kremlin Human Rights Council, an advisory body attached to the Russian presidency, claimed that the alleged executions took place in Makiivka, locality in the Donetsk region (eastern Ukraine). “We are going to ask for a reaction from the international community and an investigation,” said the head of this body Valery Fadeyev. Asked by Agence France-Presse, a UN spokesperson said: “We are aware of these videos and are reviewing them. He stressed that if necessary, the culprits must answer for their actions.
The Russian Investigative Committee said he had opened an investigation for “the execution of captured Russian soldiers”. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that these videos constitute “new evidence of the massacre of unarmed Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian servicemen”. “This brutal murder of Russian prisoners of war is not the first nor the first war crime committed,” he continued, saying that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “will be held accountable for all prisoners tortured and killed” .
Since the launch of the Russian offensive against Ukraine at the end of February, the two camps have repeatedly accused each other of inflicting ill-treatment on prisoners of war. In a report published on Tuesday, the UN said prisoners of war captured by both sides were subjected to torture and ill-treatment. The organization had reported testimonies that prisoners held by Russian forces were tortured in a “fairly systematic” manner. The UN also said it had received “credible allegations” of summary executions of Russian prisoners of war captured by Ukrainian forces and several cases of torture and ill-treatment.