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Russian Troops Accused of Executing 15 Surrendered Ukrainian Soldiers, Human Rights Watch Reveals

Russia troops accused of ‘executing’ surrendering Ukraine soldiers (Credits: Al Jazeera)

Human Rights Watch has released a disturbing report revealing that Russian forces have executed at least 15 Ukrainian soldiers who attempted to surrender since December 2023.

The organization is calling for these cases to be investigated as war crimes. The evidence gathered through drone footage and social media video clips suggests that these executions are not isolated incidents.

Human rights advocates are sounding the alarm, emphasizing that the Russian executions of Ukrainian soldiers attempting to surrender are a pattern of behavior that must be addressed. The Prosecutor General’s Office in Ukraine has opened 27 investigations into the executions of 54 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) by Russian forces.

Russian forces executed at least 15 Ukrainian soldiers (Credits: RBC-Ukraine)

Yurii Bielousov, the Head of the Department for Combating Crimes Committed during the Armed Conflict, stressed that accountability must extend beyond Russian unit commanders to the highest military and political leadership of the Russian Federation. He believes that these actions demonstrate a deliberate policy of brutality.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has also documented numerous cases of Russian armed forces and the Wagner Group executing Ukrainian POWs.

Their March 2023 report recorded 15 such incidents during the first year of the full-scale war. Subsequent reports, covering February to July 2023 and December to February 2024, documented six and 12 cases of Russian executions of Ukrainian prisoners of war, respectively.

Russians executed 15 surrendering Ukrainian soldiers (Credits: Al Jazeera)

Russia’s violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine have been consistent since the start of the full-scale invasion. As of March 29, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Andrii Kostin, reported that they had documented a staggering 124,000 Russian war crimes.

The international community must take action to hold Russia accountable for these heinous crimes. The systematic execution of Ukrainian soldiers attempting to surrender is a clear violation of international law and fundamental human rights. We must investigate and prosecute these war crimes to ensure justice for the victims and their families.

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