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EU reacts to Ukrainian POW's alleged execution, stresses 'firm commitment' to holding war criminals to account

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 12, 2023 3:51 PM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

The European Union's spokesperson Nabila Massrali said on April 12, as cited by CNN, that the video purportedly showing the beheading of a Ukrainian prisoner of war, if confirmed, serves as "yet another brutal reminder about the inhumane nature of the Russian aggression."

"Killing prisoners of war is a very serious breach of the Geneva Convention and demonstrates once more Russia's complete disregard of international law, in particular, international humanitarian law," Massrali told reporters.

"The EU reiterates its firm commitment to holding to account all perpetrators and accomplices of war crimes committed in connection with Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine," added the EU spokesperson.

Late on April 11, a video was posted on social media, which appeared to show a Russian fighter cutting off the head of a Ukrainian soldier with a knife. A voice heard at the beginning of the video indicates that the victim might have still been alive when the alleged execution started. The video has not been verified, and the alleged victim is yet to be identified.

President Volodymyr Zelensky called on international leaders to react to the alleged execution while Ukraine's Security Service launched an official investigation.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the video with the supposed brutal execution of a Ukrainian POW emphasizes the need to exclude Russia from the UN Security Council and the organization in general.

"It's absurd that Russia, which is worse than ISIS, is presiding over the UNSC. Russian terrorists must be kicked out of Ukraine and the UN and be held accountable for their crimes," Kuleba said on Twitter.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu also commented on the footage. "Video is circulating on Twitter showing Russians beheading a Ukrainian soldier... And yet we are literally talking about the need for dialogue and competing against each other in the Olympics? What are we doing here?"

Europol identifies 150 suspects of Russian war crimes in Ukraine
Europol, Europe’s law enforcement cooperation agency, analyzed 7,000 videos and pictures and gathered the testimony of 550 witnesses in Ukraine to come up with a list of 150 alleged Russian war crimes suspects.
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