Russian occupiers accused of shooting unarmed Ukrainian soldiers

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.03 - 2023 12:50 PM CET


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The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has initiated a pre-trial investigation into the alleged murder of Ukrainian soldiers by Russian military personnel in the village of Stepove, Pokrovsk district, Donetsk region, according to the Prosecutor General's Office.

The investigation comes in response to a video, circulated in the media on December 2, which purportedly shows Russian servicemen shooting unarmed Ukrainian soldiers who had surrendered near an observation post in Stepove.

"The video depicts a group of individuals in Russian uniforms firing at point-blank range at two unarmed Ukrainian servicemen wearing the uniform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who had surrendered," the statement from the Prosecutor General's Office stated.

The investigation is focusing on violations of the laws and customs of war, coupled with premeditated murder, as outlined in Part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Killing prisoners of war constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and qualifies as a serious international crime.

The pre-trial inquiry is being conducted by investigators of the SBU Main Directorate in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Dmytro Lubinets, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, stated that he plans to appeal to international organizations, including the UN and the Red Cross, regarding the incident. Lubinets emphasized that the video clearly shows the Ukrainian military's surrender and the absence of any threat to the Russian military.

The Department of Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has confirmed the shooting of two Ukrainian prisoners of war by the Russian military, vowing to submit all evidence to relevant international institutions specializing in war crimes.

As details emerge, this incident underscores the ongoing challenges in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.