A graphic video circulating online has sparked outrage after allegedly showing Russian soldiers executing two Ukrainian troops who were attempting to surrender near Stepove, a village near Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine.
Gruesome video allegedly shows Ukrainian soldiers executed by Russians after surrendering
Ukraine’s ombudsman said he would formally appeal to both the U.N. and Red Cross regarding video that apparently shows a Russian war crime https://t.co/7hYzhqPjBa
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— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) December 2, 2023
The video, originally published by the Telegram channel DeepState, depicts one Ukrainian soldier emerging from an underground bunker with his hands raised in clear surrender. Moments later, a second Ukrainian soldier appears, similarly signaling surrender.
As soon as the second soldier exits the bunker, Russian troops stationed nearby open fire with their rifles, shooting both Ukrainians multiple times at close range.
“The enemy infiltrated the positions of the 45th Separate Rifle Battalion. During the cleanup, the Russian fascists came across a bunker where our guys were sitting. They were forced to surrender due to lack of ammunition,” explained the post accompanying the disturbing video.
Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesperson for the Tavriya Territorial Defense Forces, confirmed to the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper that the Ukrainian military is actively investigating the footage to authenticate it and identify the soldiers involved.
Ukraine’s parliamentary human rights ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, was quick to weigh in, stating he would formally appeal to both the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross regarding the alleged war crime.
“The execution of those surrendering is a war crime, full stop,” Lubinets emphasized. “Today, a video appeared of Russian servicemen executing Ukrainian soldiers who were surrendering! This is yet another violation of the Geneva Conventions and a demonstration of disrespect for international humanitarian law.”
Lubinets pointed out that the video clearly shows the Ukrainian soldiers were unarmed, with their hands raised in the universally recognized gesture of surrender. “They posed no threat whatsoever! The Russian side was duty-bound to take them prisoner and grant them official prisoner of war protections,” he said.
The human rights official vowed that Ukraine would push for the prosecution of the specific Russian troops who carried out the alleged crime, as well as higher-level commanders ultimately responsible.
“The RF must be punished for every similar instance of Ukrainian soldiers being executed after surrendering. And I will stress that these are not isolated incidents – this is the murder of fighter Oleksandr Matsievskyi and other military personnel trying to surrender,” Lubinets stated.
He said Ukraine’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies would work to identify the specific Russian soldiers so they can be brought to justice.
Lubinets also promised to appeal to the United Nations so that the organization’s permanent monitoring mission in Ukraine officially documents the video as further evidence of Russia violating international humanitarian law.
“The top Russian leadership holds responsibility here as well – punishment must be meted out to all those involved,” the ombudsman said.