Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets commented on an incident in eastern Luhansk on Sunday, saying the Russian military “are the ones who fight and commit betrayal” and that “fighting back is not not a war crime”.
Russia has accused Ukraine of war crimes after a video emerged on social media, which Moscow says shows Russian soldiers killed after surrendering to Ukrainian forces.
The precise details of what happened remain unclear.
“From some videos about the incident with the Russian army in the Luhansk region, it can be concluded that by using the staged surrender, the Russians committed a war crime – they opened fire on the ‘Army of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,’ Lubinets said in a Telegram post on Sunday, implying that the Russians in the video may have acted as if they were going to surrender, but didn’t.
“In this case, people among the Russian military cannot be considered prisoners of war, but are those who fight and commit treason,” he said. “Felling back is not a war crime. On the contrary, those who want to use the protection of international law to kill must be punished.”
What the video seems to show: The edited video purports to show captured Russian soldiers in an act of surrender, with several men lying on the ground on their foreheads with their hands on their heads. Other soldiers come out of a building one by one and lie down next to them in the yard.
A voice apparently directing the surrender can be heard shouting, “Come out, one by one. Which of you is the officer? Everyone out? Go out!”
After about ten men fell to the ground, another soldier emerged from the same building and appeared to open fire in the direction of the surrendering Ukrainian soldiers.
A short burst of gunfire is heard before the music video ends abruptly.
A second clip filmed later from a drone above the same location shows the bodies of what appear to be the same Russian soldiers in the yard, most only a few meters from where they were lying in the first clip.
CNN hasn’t been able to verify exactly what happened in the first music video, and it’s unclear what happened during the time between the first music video and filming. drone footage.
The UN investigates: Marta Hurtado, spokeswoman for the United Nations Human Rights Office, said, according to Reuters: “We are aware of the videos and we are reviewing them. Allegations of summary executions of persons hors de combat should be promptly, fully and effectively investigated. , and all authors held responsible.”
More context: A UN panel of experts said in September that its investigation had found evidence of war crimes committed during Russia’s war in Ukraine, including cases of rape and torture of children.