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Ukraine says it will review alleged prisoner shooting video


KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine has said it will investigate video footage released on Russian social media which Moscow says shows Ukrainian forces killed Russian troops who may have been trying to surrender, after the One of the men apparently refused to lay down his gun and opened fire.

“Of course Ukrainian authorities will investigate this video,” said Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister responsible for overseeing the country’s efforts to join the European Union, on the sidelines of a security forum in Halifax. New Scotland.

Stefanishyna, speaking late on Saturday, said the edited short excerpts “are highly unlikely” to show what Moscow is claiming.

The Russian authorities announced Friday the opening of a criminal investigation on the basis of the extracts posted on the Russian Telegram channels and relayed on other social networks. They present a confused and incomplete picture.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed the footage showed an “execution” and said Russia wanted an international investigation.

Stefanishyna, however, said Ukrainian forces are “absolutely not interested in executing anyone” and have direct orders to take “as many POWs as possible” so they can be exchanged during prisoner exchanges with Russia.

“Every potentially executed Russian soldier is a Ukrainian who cannot be exchanged, so the wit and logic is not there,” she said.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has called for further investigation.

“HRMMU is aware of the video and is reviewing it,” he said in a statement to The Associated Press. “We reiterate our call for all of these allegations to be properly and promptly investigated by the respective authorities.”

When asked if Ukraine would allow an international investigation, Stefanishyna replied: “We will see. No problem with that.”

During the nearly nine-month invasion, forces in Moscow committed widespread abuses and alleged war crimes, according to United Nations, rights groups and AP reporting.

Matilda Bogner, who heads the UN monitoring mission in Ukraine, said earlier this week that Ukrainian troops were also suspected of some abuses.

“We have received credible allegations of summary executions of persons hors de combat, and several cases of torture and ill-treatment, allegedly committed by members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Bogner said.

Video clips that Russia said indicated an execution could not be independently verified.

The longest clip, 36 seconds long and with cuts, shows a group of about 10 men in full military gear, some lying on the ground and others coming out of an outhouse one by one with their hands up. , apparently unarmed. Under orders shouted by someone off camera, they join the others already on the ground.

Some men wear red stripes on the lower legs. Red or white identification marks are sometimes worn by Russian and Russian-aligned troops to identify them as members of the Kremlin invasion force.

The video also shows other men watching them, who are armed and wear yellow lightning bolts on their arms, legs and helmets.

Ukrainian forces often wear yellow, blue or green patches to identify themselves on the battlefield.

A man with a yellow armband appears to be holding the camera. Another, also with a yellow armband, is shown lying on the ground with a heavy machine gun and ammunition belts. At least two other gunmen wearing glimpses of yellow also appear to be watching the apparent surrender.

In the final seconds of the video, a man emerges from behind the outbuilding. He appears to be armed. Amid what looks like sustained gunfire, the video then becomes too blurry to see what happened next. The video cuts out a few seconds later.

A separate, 8-second, soundless clip appears to show those final slowed-down moments. As he emerges, the apparently armed man appears to raise a rifle and open fire, the muzzle of the gun emitting puffs of smoke.

Another separate clip, 25 seconds long and apparently shot with a drone, appears to show the same men lying motionless amid what appear to be pools of blood.

Where and when the videos were filmed was unclear. Most of the leafless trees in the background seem to suggest a period of fall or winter.

Andrey Marochko, a man who identified himself as a Russian officer based in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, claimed on Telegram that the footage was filmed in Makiivka, a village in the occupied eastern region of Ukraine. Russian media gave the same location. Ukrainian forces claimed to have regained control of the frontline village earlier this month.

Gillies reported in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Elise Morton in London and Hanna Arhirova in Kyiv, Ukraine contributed.


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