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Report Claims Russian Troops Killed Ukrainian Soldiers Surrendering

Russia troops accused of ‘executing’ surrendering Ukraine soldiers: Report

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a report alleging that Russian forces have engaged in what appears to be the summary execution of Ukrainian soldiers attempting to surrender or who had already surrendered since December 2023. HRW states that these actions should be investigated as potential war crimes. The report details five incidents involving the “apparent summary executions” of at least 15 Ukrainian soldiers, with the possibility of six more, during the period from December 2023 to February 2024.

Belkis Wille, a senior researcher at HRW, condemned the actions, labeling them as heinous war crimes. She emphasized that the deliberate killing of surrendering or injured soldiers, which is prohibited under international humanitarian law, adds to the already shameful legacy of Russia’s actions in Ukraine since the invasion.

HRW based its findings on various sources, including drone footage, social media videos, interviews with Ukrainian soldiers, and media reports. The organization highlighted that these incidents do not seem to be isolated, indicating a broader pattern of behavior.

Report Claims Russian Troops Killed Ukrainian Soldiers Surrendering

Report Claims Russian Troops Killed Ukrainian Soldiers Surrendering (Credits: Human Rights Watch)

One particular incident cited in the report occurred on February 25, where drone footage appeared to show Russian soldiers shooting at least seven Ukrainian soldiers who were surrendering as they lay face down after removing their body armor. Additionally, there were reports of a Russian commander instructing troops to “take no prisoners” and “shoot everyone” on the front lines in the Donetsk region.

The report also mentions ongoing investigations by Ukrainian authorities into similar allegations, with about 27 separate investigations underway. Furthermore, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine reported separate allegations of Ukrainian prisoners being executed in various incidents between December 2023 and February 2024, along with reports of torture and abuses against released Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory.

Russia has denied committing war crimes during the conflict in Ukraine despite mounting evidence and allegations. However, international organizations like HRW and the UN have called for thorough investigations into these alleged atrocities, emphasizing the importance of upholding international humanitarian law and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.

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