Clips suggest captive Russian troops were ‘killed at close range’, US newspaper says
The New York Times says it has verified the authenticity of videos released online last week, allegedly showing the execution of captive Russian soldiers by Ukrainian troops. Men “appear to have been shot at close range”, according to the newspaper.
The events shown in the clips took place in the village of Makeyevka in the Luhansk People’s Republic in mid-November, the newspaper reported on Sunday.
“The videos…verified for authenticity by The New York Times, offer a rare glimpse into one of many horrific moments in the war, but do not show how or why Russian soldiers were killed. “, the NYT wrote, adding that what actually happened to the soldiers remains “a mystery.”
However, the outlet noted that judging by the pictures, “At least 11 Russians…appear to have been shot at close range after one of their fellow fighters suddenly opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers standing nearby.”
The NYT also quoted Dr. Rohini Haar, medical adviser at Physicians for Human Rights, who said that “to kill or wound a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” is a violation of the law of international armed conflict.
“It looks like most of them were shot in the head,” Haar said Russian soldiers in the clips. “There are pools of blood. This indicates that they were just left there dead. There appears to have been no effort to retrieve or assist them.
In one of the videos, which appeared on social media, Russian servicemen were shown surrendering to troops in kyiv and lying on the ground, before a second clip showed their motionless bodies in pools of blood. Another video without sound, which was also reportedly shot at the scene, reportedly showed a Russian soldier exiting a building and shooting at Ukrainians.
UN asks Ukraine to investigate video showing ‘execution’ of Russian POWs
Russia described the clips as proof of “deliberate and methodical murder” of its soldiers by Ukraine. The UN has called for an investigation into the videos, with Kyiv promising to investigate.
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