UN concerned over ‘summary executions’ of POW by Ukraine & Russia

Ukraine prisoner of war

On Friday, the United Nations expressed its “grave concern” about what it called the “summary executions” of prisoners of war (POW) by Russian and Ukrainian forces.

“Up to 25 Russian prisoners of war” were killed by Ukrainian armed forces, according to Matilda Bogner, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, as well as “the summary execution of 15 Ukrainian prisoners of war shortly after being captured by Russian armed forces.”

Since the conflict began, a number of execution videos of prisoners of war (POWs) have horrified the world.

Beginning in March, a video shared on Telegram appeared to show a guy who appeared to be a Ukrainian POW smoking one final cigarette next to a shallow grave before he was allegedly killed by Russian soldiers.

In a disturbing footage, unidentified troops can be heard sneering in the background as a man who can be seen smoking a cigarette in a small hole in the ground says, “Glory to Ukraine.”

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Afterwards, he is killed by automatic firearms, which some Ukrainian lawmakers have claimed to be evidence of “genocide.”

“Today, a video appeared of the occupiers brutally killing a soldier, who bravely said to their faces: “Glory to Ukraine!”,” said Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in his evening address.

But, as the UN report demonstrates, other countries are also accused of the killing of prisoners of war.

Ukrainian soldiers were seen executing captured Russian counterparts with their wrists bound behind their backs in a video that was made public in April of last year.

The New York Times validated the footage, which depicts Ukrainian military shooting people after what looked to be an ambush near a town west of Kyiv.

One of the Ukrainians, who can be recognized by their flag patches and “glory to Ukraine” paraphernalia, can be heard saying, “He’s still alive,” as a Russian soldier can be seen with his jacket pulled over his head.

He said, “film these marauders. Look, he’s still alive. He’s gasping.”

Drag on Ukraine conflict

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had earlier in the day said in order to eradicate the “infection” in Ukraine, Russian military may have to advance as far as Kyiv or Lviv.

“Nothing can be ruled out here. If you need to get to Kyiv, then you need to go to Kyiv, if to Lviv, then you need to go to Lviv in order to destroy this infection,” RIA Novosti, who is now deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, quoted Medvedev as saying.

The Wagner mercenaries from Russia “are losing considerable strength and are running out of steam,” a commander said, adding that Ukrainian troops will soon launch a counterattack as Russia’s offensive appears to be faltering.

Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the ground troops in Kyiv, posted on social media that “Very soon, we will take advantage of this opportunity, as we did in the past near Kyiv, Kharkiv, Balakliya and Kupiansk.”

Moscow did not immediately respond to reports that its soldiers in Bakhmut were losing ground, but Wagner’s commander Yevgeny Prigozhin has recently made remarks warning the possibility of Ukrainian counteroffensive.