Horror moment surrendering Ukraine soldiers executed

Russian forces have executed at least 15 Ukrainian soldiers as they tried to surrender, and possibly six more, since the start of December 2023, a new investigation has claimed.

The report, published by Human Rights Watch yesterday, said the incidents need to be treated as crimes, with shocking footage circulating online showing the moment one soldier was murdered.

HRW investigated three instances of the apparent summary execution of at least 12 soldiers by verifying and analysing drone footage posted on social media on December 2 and December 27, and on February 25, 2024.

In all three instances, the soldiers demonstrated a clear intent to surrender and, since they were no longer taking part in hostilities, were considered not targetable in accordance with the laws of war.

A fourth incident, captured in another clip shared on social media on February 19, showed two soldiers executing three surrounded and unarmed Ukrainian prisoners.

A fifth, based on testimony from a Ukrainian soldier and a clip posted on Telegram on February 16, as well as interviews with relatives of the victims, suggests six more soldiers were executed, although the details were less clear-cut.

Belkis Wille, HRW’s associate crisis and conflict director, said: “Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, its forces have committed many heinous war crimes.

“The summary execution – or murder – of surrendering and injured Ukrainian soldiers, gunned down in cold blood, expressly forbidden under international humanitarian law, is also included in that shameful legacy.”

“While each of these cases is horrifying, perhaps what is most damning is the evidence indicating in at least one case that Russian forces explicitly gave orders to kill soldiers instead of letting them surrender, thereby endorsing war crimes.”

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