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Russia may be preparing to forcibly mobilize Ukrainian POWs to fight for Russia – ISW

Russian occupation authorities forcing Ukrainian POWs held in Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, to take part in the pseudo-referendum show. 24 September 2022. Screenshot from a TASS video.

The September 24 Russian offensive campaign assessment by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War mentions that Russia may be preparing the forced mobilization of the Ukrainian prisoners of war to fight for Russia against Ukraine, “which would constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War.”

On 24 September, the Russian state media TASS reported that Ukrainian POWs held at the Olenivka prison camp (Donetsk Oblast) orally “requested” the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic authorities” to allow them to fight in the “DNR’s volunteer Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Cossack Battalion.”

“If Russian or Russian proxy forces coerced Ukrainian POWs into combat, it would be a violation of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, which stipulates that “no prisoner of war may at any time be sent to or detained in areas where he may be exposed to the fire of the combat zone” and shall not ‘be employed on labour which is of an unhealthy or dangerous nature’,” ISW wrote.

 

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