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Ombudsman: Execution videos with alleged Ukrainian soldiers will not affect treatment of Russian POWs

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 14, 2023 10:20 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman), Dmytro Lubinets attends the international conference of human rights commissioners âThe Future of Human Rights in the 21st Centuryâ in Ankara, Turkiye on January 12, 2023. (Muhammed Abdullah Kurtar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The alleged executions of captive Ukrainian soldiers that have appeared in videos circulating online will not affect Ukraine's treatment of Russian prisoners of war, chief ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets told the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

"Ukraine fully complies with the Geneva Conventions. We have a separate camp for prisoners of war of the Russian army," Lubinets said in an interview with RFE/RL published on April 13. "My employees regularly come there as well as representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, international experts, even international journalists."

"We show as openly as possible that we are different from Russia, we keep our obligations, we protect the rights of prisoners of war, even those who came to kill us!"

According to the ombudsman, before each prisoner swap, his office talks to Russian POWs, who are saying they had been treated "decently." Russian captives can also talk to their relatives on a regular basis, Lubinets said, in contrast with Ukrainian POWs in Russia, who "do not even have the opportunity to write a letter."

"Again and again, we are convinced that there is no system for protecting the rights of prisoners of war on the territory of Russia. And something must be done about it urgently!" he added.

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.

After the footage was shared online, CNN discovered another video, reportedly published on April 8, that appears to show beheaded Ukrainian servicemen.

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

This is not the first case of extreme brutality demonstrated and filmed by Russian troops fighting in Ukraine during the full-scale invasion.

On March 6, a video was shared by popular Ukrainian bloggers in which an unarmed man in a military uniform with a Ukrainian flag on it appears to be shot dead by multiple rifle bursts from off screen, after saying "Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine)," a Ukrainian national salute. Law enforcement later confirmed that the man captured in the video was Oleksandr Matsiyevsky, a sniper from the 163rd Battalion of the 119th Territorial Defense Brigade of Chernihiv Oblast.

Viral videos show pattern of Russian atrocities throughout the war
Warning: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence. At least several Ukrainian servicemen have been beheaded by Russian troops, as alleged by two videos shared online this week. The revelation comes as yet another instance of exceptional brutality demonstrated – and filmed – by Russian f…
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