Russia accused Ukraine of war crimes after a video emerged on social media that Moscow said showed Russian soldiers killed after surrendering to Ukrainian troops.
The video, which has been geolocated by CNN, was shot on the outskirts of the village of Makiivka in the Eastern Luhansk Region, about 25 miles (about 40 kilometers) northeast of the city of Leman.
It’s unclear when the video was taken, but it was likely on November 8. 12 – The date the video first appeared online – or the number of days immediately preceding it. It was not until November 11 that the military authorities of the Lugansk region announced the liberation of the village from Russian control. 13.
The edited video purports to show captured Russian soldiers surrendering, with several men lying on the ground with their heads in their hands. More and more soldiers were seen emerging one by one from a building and laying down next to them in the courtyard.
A voice, apparently directing the surrender, can be heard shouting: “Come out, one by one. Which of you are officials? Are you all out? Come out!”
After about 10 men fell to the ground, another soldier emerged from the same building and appeared to open fire in the direction in which the Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered.
A brief exchange of fire is heard before the video clip ends abruptly.
A second clip later taken from a drone above the same location showed what appeared to be the same group of Russian soldiers’ bodies in the yard, most of them just meters from where they lay in the first clip. What appears to be a pool of blood is clearly visible in several places.
CNN was unable to verify what exactly happened in the first video clip, nor is it clear what happened between the first clip and the time the drone footage was captured.
“We are aware of the videos and we are investigating them. Allegations of summary executions of people hors de combat should be dealt with promptly and A full and effective investigation will be conducted, and any perpetrators will be held accountable.”
A statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense condemned what it said was the “deliberate and methodical killing of more than a dozen immobilized Russian servicemen … by direct shooting in the head”, which it claimed was committed by Ukraine during the war. latest war crimes.
CNN has contacted the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff twice within 24 hours for comment on the video clip but has yet to hear back.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s 80th Airborne Brigade told CNN that the drone footage was taken by the brigade’s aerial reconnaissance unit. Asked to verify whether the Ukrainian soldier in the video was also a member of his brigade, the spokesman said only that he did not know anyone in the video.
Execution of prisoners of war is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, as is the act of feigning surrender.
Earlier this week, before the Makiivka video was widely circulated, the head of the U.N. human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner, said in a briefing with reporters that the U.N. had received credible information about torture and ill-treatment of prisoners. According to Reuters, the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Asked to compare the level of abuse committed, Bogner said the Russians’ abuse of Ukrainian prisoners was “pretty systematic,” while she said Ukraine’s abuse of Russian soldiers was “unsystematic,” according to Reuters.
More background: A UN panel said in September that its investigation had found evidence that Russia had committed war crimes during the war in Ukraine, including cases of rape and child abuse.