February 27, 2024

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HRW calls on Ukraine to investigate war crimes against Russian soldiers

HRW calls on Ukraine to investigate war crimes against Russian soldiers

Many videos have been published through social networks, which have not yet been verified by the authorities, but by the media.

Part of the atrocities perpetrated by some Ukrainian forces on captured Russian soldiers in the war was shooting at close range and beating them until their faces were mutilated.

“If confirmed, beating and shooting of captured militants is a war crime and Ukraine must prove its readiness to prevent and punish serious violations of international humanitarian law,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. The report demands that Ukrainian authorities investigate and hold the suspects accountable.

HRW’s complaint refers to several videos that appear to be an event. The images, released on March 27, were recorded between a farm in Mala Rogan, near Kharkiv, between Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, and were recovered by Ukrainian troops, the news agency reported. AFP.

What do you know about alleged abuses

The panorama is dazzling: the camera shows how someone can instantly find the faces of many of the wounded, “some of them will no longer be in this world, they can be judged by their glasses and distant eyes,” HRW said.

The longest video shows five men in military uniforms lying on the ground with their hands tied and two of them with bags on their heads.

At least three of the captives appear to have had leg injuries. An orthopedic doctor who reviewed the video for Human Rights Watch said his upper leg injuries and blood on the floor matched the gunshot wounds.

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After 2 minutes and 40 seconds, the captives pulled the other three prisoners out of the blue van and shot them in the legs at close range.

One of them hit the prisoner in the face with a rifle butt.

The doctor quoted said the third inmate appeared to have been shot in the back of the thigh, with fractures weakening and more likely to bleed.

In this line, a voice accusing the prisoners of bombing civilians is heard.

“The detainees have a combination of uniforms, weapons and equipment and are not clearly identifiable. It is not clear whether these individuals are part of the regular military, part of a regional security force or part of another force,” he said, highlighting the organization dedicated to the investigation and protection of human rights.

Another video, recorded on the same farm and published by Ukrainian journalist Yuri Budushov on March 28, shows the three bodies burned by the editor of ‘Censor.net’, but it is not yet clear who and how they died.

Although the images have not been verified by any of the country’s authorities, press inquiries such as those conducted by the British chain ‘BBC’ attest to the high credibility of the events.

Under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), prisoners of war are prisoners of war who have been detained as a result of a conflict. Furthermore, the Third Geneva Conference states that their rights must be protected and laid down comprehensive rules regarding their treatment and ultimate release.

Ukraine recognizes that abusing the military is a war crime

Faced with Moscow’s allegations last week, some officials, initially such as Valery Zalushny, commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, responded that these were “false” allegations and would be part of the Kremlin’s campaign on the ongoing war.

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A few hours later, however, the Ministry of Defense and other senior commanders of the Ukrainian military indicated that they were committed to upholding human rights, urging their forces not to repeat these actions and promising approval if they could verify possible facts.

Olexiy Arestovych, one of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top advisers, acknowledged that the abuse of prisoners of war was a war crime.

“The abuse of prisoners of war is a war crime, and I want to remind all our military, civilians and security forces that war crimes are public amnesty and limitations under martial law. The European Army is a European country. We will do it, ”Arrestovich wrote in his Telegram account on the night of March 27.

On March 10, Human Rights Watch addressed the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and Internal Affairs, asking them to fulfill their duty to stop posting videos of captured Russian soldiers on social media and news applications. They were humiliated or intimidated. However, the organization did not respond to a request for comment.

West, kyiv and HRW have also reported violations by Russian forces. On March 25, the UN condemned the large number of civilian casualties and the extent of the destruction of Russian forces, showing that they had committed war crimes in violation of international humanitarian law.

In action, indiscriminate attacks on public shelters, including those of children in schools and hospitals, stand out. Actions of Moscow violating the principles of difference and proportion established in the IHL.

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