Ukraine has vowed to investigate after graphic videos emerged purporting to show the horrific abuse of Russian prisoners of war, including some who were shot in the legacy.
“The government is taking this very seriously, and there will be an immediate investigation,” senior presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said Sunday, the Washington Examiner reported.
“We are a European army, and we do not mock our prisoners. If this turns out to be real, this is absolutely unacceptable behavior,” President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser added.
One clip shows what appear to be Ukrainian troops removing three Russian soldiers from a van before seconds later, the detainees were shot in the legs,
In another video, the faces of injured and bloodied Russians are seen after hoods are removed from their heads.
The authenticity of the harrowing footage has not been independently verified, and the exact location of where the videos were shot was unclear.
“I would like to remind all our military, civilian and defense forces once again that the abuse of prisoners is a war crime that has no amnesty under military law and has no statute of limitations,” Arestovych said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian military commander Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi accused Russia of “staging” the videos and warned the public to only trust “official sources.”
“In order to discredit the Ukrainian defense forces, the enemy is filming and distributing staging videos with inhumane attitude of ‘Ukrainian military’ to ‘Russian prisoners,’” Zaluzhnyi said in a statement.
“I urge you to take into account the realities of the information and psychological war and trust only official sources,” he added, claiming that “the enemy produces and shares with the inhuman treatment of alleged ‘Russian prisoners’ by ‘Ukrainian soldiers’ in order to discredit Ukrainian Defense Forces.”
But reports suggest the Russians seen in the clips were members of a reconnaissance team captured in the Kharkiv region.
On Sunday, a Russian official condemned the alleged brutality.
“Footage appeared on the Internet in which prisoners were treated with extreme cruelty by Ukrainian nationalists. The video circulating online shows captured soldiers, being shot in both legs and not given medical assistance,” said AI Bastrykin, head of the Russian Federation investigative committee.
“According to some reports, illegal actions took place at one of the bases of the Ukrainian nationalists in Kharkiv region,” he added,.