Ukrainian Military Unit Says Russians Committed War Crime When They Killed POWs


(RFE/RL) — The command of the Ukrainian military’s Airborne Assault Forces said on December 28 that three Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) whose alleged execution by Russian forces is being investigated by the Prosecutor-General’s Office served in the 82nd Separate Airborne Assault Brigade.

The men were “deliberately killed” by unidentified members of the Russian forces in violation of the laws and customs of war, the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war, and other standards of international humanitarian law, the Airborne Assault Forces command said on Facebook.

According to the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the men were taken prisoner during combat earlier in December near the village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhya region and shot an hour later.

The command’s message said their bodies had been removed from the battlefield.

Yuriy Belousov, an official with the Prosecutor-General’s Office in charge of investigating crimes committed during armed conflict, told RFE/RL the identity of the soldiers was being verified and their names will be released later.

Russia has yet to comment on the allegation.

The command’s message also said a video of the shooting has circulated on social media, saying it is proof of a war crime committed by the armed forces of the Russian Federation and it vowed to avenge the killings.

The video of the alleged incident appears to show three unarmed figures collapsing after being fired upon. The video has not been independently verified.

The accusation is the second time this month that Ukraine has accused Russia of killing prisoners of war. Ukraine on December 3 accused Russia of committing a war crime after another video shared on social media appeared to show several soldiers shooting two surrendering military personnel.

Materials relevant to the case will be transferred to the International Criminal Court, the command said, adding that war criminals from Russia will be held accountable before an international tribunal.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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