Status: 11/23/2022 10:17 a.m
Feigned surrender or execution of enemy soldiers? Both Ukraine and Russia see evidence of war crimes in videos posted online. Each side now determines the background of the recordings.
Russia and Ukraine have once again accused each other of committing war crimes after video footage purporting to show the deaths of Russian soldiers in Ukraine surfaced online. Ukraine has now announced that it intends to use its own investigations to clarify the background to the recordings.
The controversial recordings are said to have been taken in mid-November in the town of Makiivka in the Luhansk region. Either Research by the “New York Times” as well as that ARD fact finder provided indications that these are authentic recordings. Nevertheless, the circumstances under which the pictures were taken are completely unclear.
The video is said to show Ukrainian soldiers surrounding a house where Russian forces were holed up. Some of the Russian soldiers are believed to have surrendered and are lying on the ground. Suddenly an armed man appears and opens fire. The recordings stop.
Ukraine speaks of fake surrender
From a Ukrainian point of view, they show a fake surrender by Russian soldiers. Some appeared to surrender, and other forces then opened fire on the Ukrainian troops. Such an act would count as a war crime under international law. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has now announced that it has opened an investigation into allegations of a fake capitulation. The Ukrainian soldiers only defended themselves against enemy fire.
conflicting parties as a source
Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body in the current situation.
Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, also sees a Russian war crime in the events shown on the video. It can actually be seen that Russian soldiers are trying to capitulate. But also that some soldiers opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers who tried to capture the enemy soldiers. Two Russian forces “come out and start shooting at people, at Ukrainian military personnel,” Podoliak said. According to him, the Ukrainian government has the full video, but it has not yet been published.
Ukraine also stressed that its own troops were instructed to take as many Russian prisoners as possible in order to exchange them for Ukrainian prisoners of war held by the Russians.
Russia accuses Ukraine of “execution”.
According to the Russian account, Ukrainian forces shot and killed Russian soldiers when they obviously wanted to surrender. The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, spoke of an “execution” of the country’s armed forces. Russia wants to investigate the incidents itself and is also pushing for an international investigation into the events.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had previously announced that Russia itself would search for the Ukrainian armed forces it believed to be responsible. “They must be found and punished,” Peskow demanded.
The United Nations Human Rights Office based in Geneva has already said that the allegations surrounding the controversial video recordings should be “investigated promptly, fully and effectively and the perpetrators should be held accountable”.