“Kharkiv is completely destroyed” – shouted in the film Ukrainian soldiers who beat and kick prisoners of war. Then they shot the three men on the knees. If the movie is real, it documents a war crime. Ukrainian officials say it was made up by the Russians.
A video of the violent scenes surfaced on the Internet on Sunday night. On Monday, the Ukrainian government said it was investigating the film. The video shows the alleged torture of Russian prisoners of war.
The film, whose authenticity was confirmed by the authorities, was not confirmed. Ukrainian soldiers are seen pulling the Russians out of a truck and shooting them in the legs.
As the “New York Times” wrote, the material was recorded in the area under the control of the Ukrainians.
However Representatives of the Ukrainian army confirmed that the recordings were fabricated by Russia to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the world.
Ukrainian military commander Valery Zaloghny said that “enemies are producing and distributing recordings showing ‘Russian prisoners’ of inhuman treatment by ‘Ukrainian soldiers’ to show the Ukrainian forces in a bad light.”
However, the New York Times says there are many indications that the material may be authentic. According to the newspaper’s findings, it was recorded in a small village east of Kharkiv near the front lines, in a place under the control of Ukrainian forces.
The recording lasts 5 minutes and shows a total of five bound prisoners who appear to have been injured. They lie on the ground under rifle barrels, some carrying bags on their heads.
In the video, both the victims and the perpetrators speak Russian, although the alleged Ukrainian soldiers speak Russian in a Ukrainian dialect.
Prisoners of war are interrogated and given their rank and the city from which they came. It seems that one of the men fainted during this exchange.
In the background, someone shouted: “The whole of Kharkiv has been destroyed.”
Three prisoners were then taken from the truck and soldiers shot them in the knees.
If the recording is real, it documents a war crime under the Geneva Convention.
Oleksiy Aristovich, an adviser to President Zelensky, said in an interview with the British newspaper “The Guardian”: “We are a European army. We do not treat our prisoners badly. If this is true, then this is unacceptable.”
“I will remind the military and civilians once again that violence against prisoners is a war crime that is not pardoned and does not have a statute of limitations,” he added.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in turn that The Kremlin authorities have seen the video.
“Those who participated in the torture should be charged and paid for their actions,” Peskov said, describing the video as “disgusting.” He announced that Russian prosecutors would consider the recording.
Irina Venediktova, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, believes that the recording cannot be taken seriously. “We need proof,” she told Sky News. “If the Ukrainian soldiers are convicted, they will be investigated and brought to trial,” she added.
Most of Kharkiv, located near the Russian border, is in ruins. Russian bombs destroyed 1,177 residential homes, 53 kindergartens, more than 50 schools and 10 hospitals in the city.
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