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Russia’s Defence Ministry accuses Ukraine of ‘mass execution’ after videos showing corpses of Russian POWs appear online. Graphic footage

The Russian Ministry of Defence has accused Ukrainian servicemen of “mass execution on the unarmed Russian prisoners of war”. Two videos have appeared online: in one of them, alleged Russian servicemen surrender into captivity, while in the second, someone shoots them down.

“Nobody will succeed in presenting the intentional and methodical murder committed by the degenerates from the Armed Forces of Ukraine through direct head-shots of 10 immobilised Russian servicemen as a ‘tragic exception’ amid the alleged all-compassing compliance with the rights of prisoners of war by the Kiev regime,” the ministry’s statement reads.

The Ukrainian side has not yet officially commented on the information.

One of the videos shows the soldiers surrender — they walk out of a house with raised hands and lie down on the ground at the same time as servicemen with yellow armbands direct their weapons at them. One person is on the ground with a machine gun. The surrendered are asked which one of them is the officer, after which gunshots can be heard.

Screenshot from the video

Screenshot from the video

Judging by the recording, Ukrainian soldiers were waiting for all Russian servicemen willing to surrender to come out of the house. At the end of the video, another person comes out of the building and opens fire.

In the second video, shot from above, 12 corpses are visible. Additionally, the surroundings include objects that were also present in the first video.

Mediazona points out that the second video was posted by Ukrainian Telegram channel Operativno ZSU back on 13 November. In the video, corpses of 12 soldiers are seen, with traces of blood near some of them. The message corresponding with the video in the post states: “Result of a 120mm mortar at work”.

The location of the recording is unknown. Telegram channel Rybar claims that the incident took place in the village of Makiivka. The Bell recently learnt that one of the founders of Rybar is a 44-year-old Moscow-based programmer Denis Schukin, while Yevgeny Prigozhin is affiliated with the channel’s financing.

At the same time, head of Russian Human Rights Council Valery Fadeev says to have sent a video with “alleged execution of Russian POWs in Makiivka” to international organisations so that an investigation can be conducted, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reports.

One of the Telegram channels writes that the video shows the 80th Brigade of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Ukrainian Telegram channel DeepState reports that the video was shot in the area of Makiivka, near the city of Svatove, Luhansk region. On 16 November, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry reported that Makiivka had been liberated.

On Wednesday, 16 November, the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency of News (UNIAN) reposted a video with the killed soldiers, claiming that they were draftees from the Voronezh region of Russia, abandoned in Makiivka.

There is also a video that was shared on social media, showing the entire house, near which a soldier’s corpse is visible.

On 13 November, the Luhansk region military administration said to have captured the Makiivka village located near Svatove. “Village Makiivka <…> is being put in the ‘blue zone’. Ukrainian soldiers have resumed control over the settlement,” the statement read.

Before, Russia’s Defence Ministry reported that all attempts by Ukraine to capture Makiivka had been repelled.

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