Russia blames Ukraine for ‘shooting POWs’ after ‘surrendering’ Russian soldier opens fire
On the left is a man in a dark uniform who opened fire, on the right are the bodies of Russian soldiers taken from a drone (Photo:Necro Mancer video footage via Twitter)
Russia has accused Ukraine of killing 12 Russian soldiers in an incident in which a Russian soldier appears to have opened fire on Ukrainian troops while pretending to surrender.
BBC News Ukraine reported that the incident happened in Makiyivka in Luhansk Oblast on Nov. 12.
In the evening and the next day, Nov. 13, a video taken from a drone appeared on Ukrainian websites, showing the bodies of 12 Russian soldiers in the yard of a village house. Posts on social networks said that Russian soldiers were killed by mortar fire.
However, Russia later accused the Ukrainian military of shooting Russian prisoners of war in Makiivka after two videos that don't show the full incident appeared online.
Then, in video footage of the incident released on Nov. 17 by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, more context about the incident was given. The video appears to be bodycam footage taken by a Ukrainian soldier.
In this video, Ukrainian troops order Russian soldiers to come out of a building one at a time and surrender. They also ask who the commander is and if everyone has left the building.
At the end of the video a man in dark clothes appears, apparently a Russian soldier. He opens fire at the Ukrainian soldiers as the surrendering Russian troops lie on the ground. The camera appears to fall and then only shooting can be heard.
It remains unclear at whom the man was shooting and what happened afterwards.
BBC News Ukraine supposed the drone video capture and the video captured by the Ukrainian troops showed same event. They argued that "the (same) door is seen on both videos as well as something that resembles a red toy car in the yard of the house." The postures of the lying soldiers are similar before and after the shooting.
Still, the very moment of the shooting and killing of the 12 Russian soldiers wasn't captured on video.
A report by open-source investigations group Conflict Intelligence Team or CIT speculates the videos show two war crimes: A Russian soldier shooting while pretending to surrender (the crime of perfidy) and the execution by the Ukrainian military of captured Russians without trial, although the video does not show the second event.
CIT added it would have been legitimate to kill only the person who started shooting.
Meanwhile, Russia has accused only the Ukrainian military of committing a war crime.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the incident was "an intentional and methodical killing with direct shots to the head over 10 immobilized Russian soldiers."
Shoigu also said that Ukrainian prisoners of war are held in accordance with the Geneva Convention's requirements, even though this is disputed by international organizations and Ukrainian prisoners who have been released by the Russians.
Spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, claimed the incident was a gross violation of international law and called the Ukrainian military "neo-fascists."
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev demanded that the Ukrainian troops involved in the incident be put to death. Officially, capital punishment is outlawed in Russia.
The Chairperson of Eurasian Ombudsman Alliance, Tatyana Moskalkova, said she had asked international organizations to condemn the execution of Russian prisoners, and demanded the punishment of the Ukrainian troops.
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