Moscow hit back at Washington on Tuesday after its war crimes envoy argued that Russia’s atrocities far outweighed Kyiv’s, following the release of videos purportedly showing Ukrainian soldiers executing surrendered Russian troops.
“Any normal person shudders and rejects such atrocities. We will never forget the horrendous killing of unarmed soldiers who were forced to lie on the ground…then ruthlessly shot,” Russia’s embassy to the U.S. said in a Telegram post.
“How can the Administration explain its callous attitude towards the death of ordinary warriors to their mothers, wives and children?” it questioned.
Since its invasion, Russia has been accused of war crimes, prompting the International Criminal Court and several Western nations to open thousands of investigations into gross human rights violations such as forced deportations, sexual abuse, torture, and the murder of Ukrainian civilians.
However, questions about potential war crimes committed by Ukraine arose over the weekend after videos on social media allegedly showed Ukrainian soldiers killing Russian troops who had apparently surrendered.
“We are obviously tracking that quite closely,” U.S. Ambassador-at-Large on International Criminal Justice Beth van Schaack told reporters Monday. “It’s really important to emphasize that the laws of war apply to all parties equally, both the aggressor state and the defender state.
“But when it comes to the war in Ukraine, that’s really where the equivalency ends,” she continued. ” When we’re looking at the sheer scale of criminality exhibited by Russian forces, it’s enormous compared to the allegations that we have seen against Ukrainian forces.”
Russia condemned van Schaack’s remarks as “cynical,” as well as her “refusal” to denounce what the embassy termed as a “massacre.”