Possible Russian POW Shot on Tape, Prompting an Investigation

Several graphic videos circulated on social media over the weekend, allegedly showing captured Russian soldiers being shot by Ukrainian troops.

A Ukrainian official vowed an “immediate inquiry” on Sunday, following the videos’ release. 

Reactions to the Incident

According to Ukraine’s commander in chief, Russia “staged recordings” demonstrate the “inhumane behavior” of what are alleged to be Ukrainian military troops toward Russian prisoners of war.

Allegedly, this has been done to destabilize the country. 

During an interview on Sunday, senior presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych stated, “The government takes this extremely seriously. Therefore, there will be an instant investigation.”

“We are a European military, and we do not make fun of our detainees. If this proves true, this is a completely unacceptable pattern of conduct.” 

According to Arestovych, in a separate video statement published on Sunday, “I would like to inform all of our military, civilian, and defense personnel the torture of captives is a war crime.”

“This war crime is not subject to amnesty under military law and does not have a statute of limitations.” 

The chief of Ukraine’s armed forces accused Russia of “staging” the video and advised the public to only believe “official sources” in the future. 

“To undermine the Ukrainian defense forces, the adversary is making and circulating staged videos depicting the barbaric attitude of the ‘Ukrainian military’ toward ‘Russian detainees,'” stated Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

As Zaluzhnyi’s statement went on to say, “the enemy generates images of inhumane treatment of alleged “Russian prisoners” by “Ukrainian soldiers” to discredit the Ukrainian Defense Forces.”

“I urge you to consider the facts of the details and propaganda war and trust only legitimate sources,” Zaluzhnyi said.

Details of the Footage

In the footage, what appears to be supposedly detained Russian soldiers are seen being unloaded from a van.

A few seconds later, the three men who had been removed from the van appear to be shot in the legs by the same military.

In another video, soldiers with bewildered expressions and bloated features are revealed after the coverings over their heads, reportedly wounded.

POWs are then removed. Numerous soldiers seem to be covered in blood; several of them appear to have shattered legs. 

In addition, there is no independent confirmation of the tapes’ validity, and it is unclear where the videos were shot in the first place. 

Several media outlets have reported the footage appears to be of a Russian reconnaissance party caught in the Kharkiv region. On Sunday, Russian officials issued a strong condemnation of the recordings. 

“On the internet, there is video footage of Ukrainian nationalists treating detainees with terrible violence, and the footage is horrifying.”

“The video, making the rounds on the internet, shows captured soldiers getting shot in both legs without receiving medical attention.”

“In the Kharkiv region, criminal actions were reported to have taken place at one of the Ukrainian nationalists’ bases, according to certain reports,” Bastrykin, the director of the Russian Federation’s investigative committee, asserted in a press release.