Ukraine Launches Investigation into Alleged Killing of Surrendering Soldiers by Russian Forces

December 4, 2023 | by b1og.net


In a disturbing development, Ukrainian officials have launched an investigation into the alleged killing of surrendering Ukrainian soldiers by Russian forces. The investigation stems from grainy footage that surfaced on social media, showing two uniformed men being shot at close range after emerging from a dugout. Although the authenticity of the video has not been confirmed, the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s office has initiated a criminal investigation, citing the video as evidence. This incident, if true, would constitute a war crime and further escalate tensions in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Ukraine Launches Investigation into Alleged Killing of Surrendering Soldiers by Russian Forces

Ukraine Launches Investigation into Alleged Killing of Surrendering Soldiers by Russian Forces

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Ukrainian officials have launched an investigation into allegations that Russian forces killed surrendering Ukrainian soldiers. The investigation comes after grainy footage on social media appeared to show two uniformed men being shot at close range after emerging from a dugout. If these allegations are confirmed, it would be considered a war crime. The authenticity of the video and the circumstances surrounding it are still unclear. However, the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s office has deemed the footage genuine and initiated a criminal investigation.


Footage of Alleged Killing

The video shows the servicemen, one with his hands up in surrender, walking out at gunpoint and lying down on the ground. A group of Russian troops then appears to open fire. The footage was first shared on a Ukrainian Telegram channel covering the war and claimed to be from the front lines near Avdiivka. Avdiivka is a Ukrainian holdout in the country’s part-occupied east where there has been intense fighting recently.

Criminal Investigation by Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office

The Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s office launched a criminal investigation into the alleged killing shortly after the video surfaced. The office stated, “The video shows a group in Russian uniforms shooting, at point-blank range, two unarmed servicemen in the uniform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who were surrendering.” This investigation demonstrates Ukraine’s commitment to holding those responsible accountable for any violations of international humanitarian law.

No Response from Russian Defense Ministry

As of now, the Russian defense ministry has not responded to the allegations or the video. There have been no public statements from the Russian government or military regarding the incident. This lack of response raises concerns and adds to the accusations of Russia’s violations of international humanitarian law.

Accusations of Russian Violations of International Humanitarian Law

Kyiv, Ukraine’s Western allies, and international human rights organizations have repeatedly accused Russia of breaching international humanitarian law since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. These allegations include targeting civilians, indiscriminate shelling, and the mistreatment of prisoners of war. The Kremlin denies these accusations, but the ongoing violations raise serious concerns about Russia’s conduct during the conflict.

Location of Alleged Killing

The alleged killing took place in the Pokrovsk district, which includes Avdiivka and its surrounding areas. Avdiivka has been the site of fierce fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces. The region has experienced significant violence and is a critical area of contention in the conflict.

Statements from Ukrainian Officials

Ukrainian officials have condemned the alleged killing and called it a violation of international humanitarian law. Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s human rights chief, described the incident as “yet another glaring example of Russia’s violations of international humanitarian law.” Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military grouping near Avdiivka, called the video “glaring confirmation” of Russia’s disrespect for the laws of war. These statements highlight the seriousness of the allegations and emphasize Ukraine’s commitment to justice.


Previous Incidents of Alleged Atrocities

This recent incident is not the first time accusations of atrocities have been levelled against Russian forces. In March, footage emerged of a man exclaiming “Glory to Ukraine” before being gunned down in a wooded area. Senior Ukrainian officials alleged that he was an unarmed prisoner of war killed by Russian soldiers. Additionally, in the summer of last year, Ukraine and Russia traded blame for a shelling attack on a prison in occupied eastern Ukraine. Dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in this attack, and both sides accused each other of atrocities. These incidents and others highlight the brutality and suffering endured by those affected by the conflict.

Power Outages and Wintry Weather

On the same day that the video surfaced and the investigation was launched, Ukraine’s energy ministry reported power outages in close to 1,000 towns and villages. Wintry weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, battered hundreds of settlements in the west, further exacerbating the challenges faced by the Ukrainian population. These power outages and adverse weather conditions pose additional hardships for the people of Ukraine, who are already dealing with the ongoing conflict.

Effect of Weather on Military Operations

The poor weather conditions, including mud that makes it difficult for tracked vehicles to move and hampers the advancement of lighter equipment and infantry, have slowed down military operations along the frontline in Ukraine. The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, noted that the weather has posed significant challenges for both sides. However, despite these challenges, Russian infantry attacks have intensified in the Avdiivka area, according to Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun. He emphasized that Ukrainian troops remain steadfast in their defense of Avdiivka and nearby towns.

Renewed Russian Attacks in Avdiivka

Amidst the weather obstacles, Russian forces have launched renewed attacks in the Avdiivka area. The intensified attacks signal a continued escalation and a disregard for the ceasefire agreements. The situation in Avdiivka remains tense, and the Ukrainian military is under immense pressure to defend the town and its residents.

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Shelling in Kherson

In addition to the renewed attacks in Avdiivka, Russian forces also shelled civilian areas in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. At least two people were killed, and seven others were wounded in the shelling, according to the head of the city’s military administration. The shelling targeted a high-rise apartment block and other civilian buildings, leading to further loss of life and destruction. These attacks on civilian areas demonstrate the indiscriminate nature of the violence and the disregard for human life.


The allegations of Russian forces killing surrendering Ukrainian soldiers highlight the ongoing brutality and violations of international humanitarian law in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine’s launch of a criminal investigation demonstrates its commitment to holding those responsible accountable. The lack of response from the Russian defense ministry and the previous incidents of alleged atrocities further raise concerns about Russia’s conduct. The power outages and wintry weather conditions exacerbate the challenges faced by the Ukrainian population, and the intensified attacks in Avdiivka and shelling in Kherson underscore the continued escalation of violence. The situation in Ukraine remains precarious, and it is crucial for the international community to support Ukraine in its pursuit of justice and lasting peace.

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