The US is investigating Ukrainian war crimes after footage of Russian POW executions surfaced

According to Washington’s envoy for war crimes, the US is watching accusations of Ukrainian forces summarily murdering Russian servicemen. On Friday, Russia’s defence ministry highlighted the issue after recordings reportedly depicting Ukrainian forces murdering Russian prisoners of war circulated on social media.

According to Beth Van Schaack, the United States’ ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, all parties involved in the conflict should face consequences if they commit abuses.

 

“We are obviously tracking that quite closely,” she told reporters during a telephone briefing.

“It’s really important to emphasize that the laws of war apply to all parties equally: both the aggressor state and the defender state and this is in equal measure,” she said.

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“All parties to the conflict must abide by international law or face the consequences.”

The films appear to show Russian servicemen laying on the ground after allegedly surrendering. The footage shows around 12 bodies and automatic gunshots.

Van Schaack went on to say that Russia has committed much more crimes than the claims levelled against Ukrainian military. Both countries, however, behaved differently.

“Russia inevitably responds with propaganda, denial, mis- and dis-information, whereas Ukrainian authorities have generally acknowledged abuses and have denounced them and have pledged to investigate them.”

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has allegedly stated that the event would be investigated.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s human rights commissioner, Dmytro Lubinets, claimed that the tape seemed to reveal a “staged capture” in which Russian soldiers were not actually surrendering.

Moscow has been accused of several atrocities, including war crimes, since the start of the military operation in Ukraine. This includes a network of so-called filtration camps used to transport Ukrainians from occupied territories into Russia. Russia has refuted all of these charges, accusing Kiev and its supporters of manufacturing them.