The war in Ukraine: were Russian soldiers executed on the spot?

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Ukrainian warWere the Russian soldiers executed on the spot?

A few days ago, videos appeared online purporting to show the execution of about a dozen Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces after they surrendered. Kyiv claims it has nothing to do with it.

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Since mid-November 2022, videos of the alleged execution of Russian soldiers have been shared on social networks. According to Russia, the men surrendered in Makiivka, Donetsk region.

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One of the videos shows soldiers apparently surrendering to several men wearing camouflage and yellow armbands.

One of the videos shows soldiers apparently surrendering to several men wearing camouflage and yellow armbands.

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The soldiers lie on the ground.  The video stops abruptly as the dark man opens fire.

The soldiers lie on the ground. The video stops abruptly as the dark man opens fire.

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It’s about it

  • Russia on Friday accused Kyiv of executing several surrendering soldiers.

  • On Sunday, Kyiv denied the allegations of the alleged execution.

  • Clarity should be brought by the analysis of the two filmed videos.

Moscow and Kyiv are at loggerheads over a serious incident in Makiivka, in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, in which Russia says Ukrainian soldiers “brutally” executed Russian prisoners of war. Last Friday, the Russian Ministry of Defense spoke of the “premeditated and methodical murder of more than ten bound Russian soldiers” who were “shot in the head”.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian government denied reports of the alleged execution. On the contrary, the Ukrainian soldiers defended themselves against the Russian soldiers, who only pretended to surrender, explained on Telegram the representative for human rights of the Ukrainian parliament, Dmytro Lubinets.

Lubinets said “clips” of the video show Russian soldiers using “fake surrender” to “open fire on Ukrainian forces”. That is a “war crime”.

What do the videos show?

Two 30-second videos of the incident have been circulating on social media for days: One video captured by a drone shows soldiers apparently surrendering and lying face down in a backyard. Shortly after, gunshots are heard and the video stops abruptly.

A few days later, another video shot from the ground by a bystander showed about a dozen bodies in pools of blood. In the recordings, voices are heard asking if all the men who were hiding in the shed had come out.

The people in the video speak Ukrainian, while the prisoners’ uniforms look Russian. At the end, an armed, dark-clad man appears and opens fire. It is not clear whether he is Russian or Ukrainian. The blurry video also doesn’t show what he’s shooting at.

The UN is examining the recordings

Based on the recordings, «BBC» cannot verify the Russian allegations. But now it is clear that the first shots from the air and those from the ground correspond to the same scene, writes the British broadcaster. The footage shows a front door with a green roof, and both videos show a red toy car in the yard.

Asked by AFP, a UN spokesman said the UN was “aware of the videos” and was “investigating them”. The UN human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine recently said it had credible reports of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war on both sides.

Are you or someone you know worried about the war in Ukraine?

Here you can find help for yourself and others:

Questions and answers about the war in Ukraine (State Secretariat for Migration)

Ambulance for victims of SRK’s torture and war, Tel. 058 400 47 77

fear of war?tips from Pro Juventute

Counseling service (German, Ukrainian, Russian) from Pro Juventute

Free counseling for children and youth in Ukrainian

Dealing handConcerns hotline, tel. 143

For the youthcouncil for children and youth, phone number 147

Registration and information for host families:

Swiss aid to refugees, Tel. 058 105 05 55

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