Russia accuses Ukraine of executing at least 10 POWs

Russia accuses Ukraine of executing at least 10 POWs
Russia accuses Ukraine of executing at least 10 POWs

Updates with comments and context

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Friday accused Kyiv of executing at least 10 prisoners of war in what Moscow called a “war crime,” the latest allegation of abuse after nearly nine months of fighting in Ukraine.

Moscow’s claims come after the UN released a report this week indicating that prisoners of war on both sides had been subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

“No one will be able to describe the deliberate and methodical killing of more than 10 overpowered Russian soldiers (…) who were shot in the head, as a ‘tragic exception’,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement came amid videos circulating on Russian-language social media purporting to show the bodies of Russian servicemen who had surrendered and then been killed.

Video shows soldiers apparently surrendering to several military personnel in camouflage and wearing yellow armbands. Surrendering soldiers lie on the ground in the backyard of a house filled with rubble.

The video then abruptly cuts off as gunshots are heard.

Another video filmed from above shows the bodies of a dozen people surrounded by apparent bloodstains.

It has not been possible to independently verify the authenticity of the videos and the Russian Defense Ministry has not specified when the footage was taken.

The Russian Human Rights Council said the alleged executions took place in the village of Makiivka in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, which the Ukrainian army said it took over this week .

“We will ask for a reaction and investigation from the international community,” Human Rights Council President Valery Fadeyev said on social media.

The ministry asserted that the videos represent “new evidence of a massacre of unarmed Russian POWs by Ukrainian servicemen”, and said that “the brutal murder of Russian POWs is not the first nor the only war crime” committed by Ukrainian forces.

Moscow has also accused Ukraine’s Western allies of turning a blind eye to alleged abuses by the Ukrainian military.

Kyiv would be held responsible for “every tortured and killed prisoner”, the statement said.

There was no immediate response to the allegations from Ukrainian officials.

Moscow’s allegations come a day after a Dutch court sentenced two Russian men and a Ukrainian to life imprisonment for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014.

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. russia accuses ukraine of having executed minus prisoners war

. Russia accuses Ukraine executing POWs

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