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Ombudsman says his office has received 'dozens' of videos with alleged executions of Ukrainian POWs

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 17, 2023 7:47 PM 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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Ukraine's Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets told Ukrainska Pravda publication that over the past nine months, his office had received "several dozens" of videos allegedly showing executions of Ukrainian prisoners of war carried out by Russian soldiers.

"This is cutting off the head, the genitals, the ears, nose, limbs, phalanges on the hands," Lubinets said in an interview published on April 17.

"Some (of the Russian soldiers) were verified. And I know that one person suffered punishment. I know they died during a clash with Ukrainian troops," he added.

According to the ombudsman, Russia publicly distributes such videos to "maintain the degree of anti-Ukrainian hysteria" within Russian society, persuade its troops not to surrender, and intimidate Ukrainian soldiers preparing for a counteroffensive.

Earlier, Lubinets told the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that the alleged executions of captive Ukrainian soldiers that had appeared in videos circulating online would not affect Ukraine's treatment of Russian POWs.

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.

This was 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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