Friday, 23 Feb, 2024


UN accuses Russia, Ukraine forces of ‘summary executions’ of prisoners

International Desk |
Update: 2023-03-25 13:31:39
UN accuses Russia, Ukraine forces of ‘summary executions’ of prisoners [photo collected]

On Friday, the UN (United Nations) expressed “deep concern” regarding what it called summary executions of prisoners of war by both Russian and Ukrainian forces on the battlefield.

These allegations came shortly after Kyiv accused Russian forces of killing a captured Ukrainian serviceman who had said “Glory to Ukraine” before they shot him dead.

Matilda Bogner, the head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, said that her organisation had recently recorded killings by both sides. Bogner stated at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday, “We have documented the summary execution of up to 25 Russian prisoners of war and persons hors de combat by the Ukrainian armed forces. This often happened immediately upon capture on the battlefield.” She added, “Although we are aware of ongoing investigations by Ukraine authorities into five cases involving 22 victims, we are not aware of any prosecution of the perpetrators.”

Bogner also expressed “deep” concern over the alleged executions of 15 Ukrainian prisoners by Russian armed forces after their capture. She stated that the Wagner mercenary group, which claims to be leading Russia’s assault for Bakhmut — the longest and bloodiest battle of the war — was responsible for 11 of those killings.

Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of mistreating prisoners of war since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded a year ago. In response to the UN report, Kyiv’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was “unacceptable” to hold the “victim of aggression” responsible.

The UN report
On Friday, a UN report claimed that Ukrainian military personnel had subjected prisoners of war to death threats, mock executions, or threats of sexual violence.

According to the report, some beatings were purely retaliatory. The officers reportedly beat POWs, saying “We are doing this for Bucha,” referring to a town near Kyiv where Russian forces were accused of widespread atrocities.

A Russian POW was quoted in the report as saying, “Before questioning, they showed me an axe handle covered in blood as a warning.” The report also quoted a detainee who said, “The questioning lasted for about an hour, and they used electricity six times, whenever they thought I was lying.”

Ukrainian prisoners reported being beaten with shovels, stabbed, subjected to electric shocks, and strangled.

One man was quoted as saying, “They did not just beat us, they broke us. They used their fists, legs, batons, tasers.

There were POWs who had their arms or legs broken.” On Friday, the Ukrainian parliament’s human rights commissioner, Dmytro Lubinets, said he was surprised by the allegations against Ukrainian troops and said he had not been informed of them in advance.

Source: British Herald

BDST: 1330 HRS, MAR 25, 2023

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