Ukraine initiates criminal proceedings over executed Russian soldiers footage, accuses Russians of “opening fire against Ukrainian defenders”

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has initiated criminal proceedings against the Russian military for violating the laws and customs of war after a video with the alleged execution of Russian captives by soldiers of Ukraine’s army went viral online, the agency reports.

“According to the results of media monitoring, it became known that in the village of Makiivka, Luhansk region, the Russian military, simulating the surrender to the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, opened fire against Ukrainian defenders. Such actions are prohibited by international humanitarian law,” the statement said, labelling the actions of Russia’s servicemen “perfidy”. A pre-trial investigation has started.

The Russian Ministry of Defence accused Ukrainian servicemen of “mass execution on the unarmed Russian prisoners of war” on 18 November.

Ukraine is going to investigate the footage, Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister overseeing the country’s push to join the European Union, said.

“We are aware of the videos, and we are looking into them,” Marta Hurtado, a spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, told Reuters last Friday.

Two videos have circulated on social media: on one, presumably Russian servicemen are surrendering themselves, and on the second, someone is shooting them dead.

In one of the videos, the soldiers are seen surrendering themselves one by one, coming out of a building with their hands up and lying down on the ground while the soldiers with yellow armbands point their weapons at them. The men on the ground are asked which of them is an officer, after which gunfire is heard.

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