The Ukrainian Security Service’s Main Investigative Department has opened an investigation after Russian troops filmed themselves shooting a prisoner of war, Meduza reported on March 7.
The disturbing video of the Ukrainian soldier went viral earlier this week and prompted further accusations of Russian war crimes. The Ukrainian soldier, believed to be Timofey Shadura of the 30th Prince Konstanty Ostrogski Mechanised Brigade, looked the Russian troops in the eyes and said “Slava Ukraini” (Glory to Ukraine), before the soldiers opened fire, killing the man instantly.
“War crimes are cultivated in Russia. And whitewashed by their propaganda and myths about ‘Nazis.’ The murder of a person who was taken captive is one more example of that. And it’s also an example of their national wretchedness and weakness. Every one of these war crimes will be atoned for. Nobody will be able to hide,” said Andriy Yermak, the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.
Kyiv has since called for the International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation as killing POWs is a crime against the Geneva Convention. At the same time, the Ukrainian Security Service’s Main Investigative Department will investigate the killing under Ukraine's own law against “violating the laws and customs of war”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that the killers will be found and the soldier will receive the title of Hero of Ukraine.
Moscow has not commented on the video but Daniil Bezsonov, a spokesman for the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, claimed that Ukraine had staged the incident and dressed a Russian POW in a Ukrainian uniform.
Ukraine has found evidence of numerous Russian war crimes in its recovered territories. After the liberation of Kherson last autumn, Zelenskiy said Russia has committed over 400 crimes against humanity.
One of the most disturbing events from the war so far was the massacre and rape of civilians in Bucha and other neighbouring settlements on the outskirts of Kyiv. At least 1,300 bodies were recovered, according to reports.
The revelations led to Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council after 93 countries voted in favour of its removal.