‘Mariupol cages’ symbolize Russian war crimes, Ukrainian official says

15 August, 07:27 PM
The invaders in Mariupol are preparing a demonstrative “trial” of the prisoners (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The invaders in Mariupol are preparing a demonstrative “trial” of the prisoners (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The cages Russia has had built in a Mariupol theater where Moscow intends to carry out a show trial of Ukrainian prisoners of war are symbolic of Russia’s war crimes, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Aug. 15.

He reiterated that all prisoners of war, and in particular the defenders of the Azovstal Steelworks are combatants who were legally defending their country.

Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention states that prisoners of war are immune from prosecution for taking part in hostilities.

“Therefore, the ‘Mariupol cages’ are Russia’s official war crime,” Podolyak tweeted.

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“Time for the International Committee of the Red Cross and (its) President Peter Maurer to remember about their purpose and think about their reputation.”

Earlier, video circulating on social media showed Russian invasion forces assembling defendants’ cages on the stage of the Mariupol Philharmonic in order to hold a show trial of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said Russian invading forces might hold the show trial on Ukrainian Independence Day, Aug. 24.

The Association of the Families of the Defenders of the Azovstal Steelworks on Aug. 8 called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations to prevent show trials of the Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol being staged by Russia.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on July 29 that Russia had caused an explosion at a prison colony in the occupied Donetsk town of Olenivka in order to accuse Ukraine of committing “war crimes,” as well as to hide evidence of the torture and execution of prisoners carried out on the orders of the occupation administration and command in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk Oblast.

Russian invading forces used the prison colony in Olenivka to hold, among others, the defenders of Mariupol, including fighters from the Azov Regiment. The UN and the Red Cross were to have guaranteed their safety.

Russian propaganda media claimed that at least 53 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. The next day, the Russian Defense Ministry published a list of 42 dead, while Ukraine said that they had not yet received this data.

About 40 people were killed and 130 injured in the Russian attack, according tothe Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

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