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Russians executed 15 surrendering Ukrainian soldiers since December - Human rights workers

Russians executed 15 surrendering Ukrainian soldiers since December - Human rights workers Since December, Russians have executed at least 15 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to surrender (Russian media)
Author: Maria Kholina

Russian occupiers have executed at least 15 Ukrainian defenders who attempted to surrender since December 2023. Additionally, Russians have shot dead at least six Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers who had surrendered, citing a report from the human rights organization Human Rights Watch.

According to rights workers, confirmed cases of executing prisoners of war or soldiers attempting to surrender must be investigated as 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," said Belkis Wille, associate crisis and conflict director at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch investigated three cases of the shooting of at least 12 Ukrainian military personnel. Rights activists verified and analyzed drone footage published on social media on December 2 and 27, 2023, and February 5, 2024. In these cases, Ukrainian military personnel clearly indicated their intention to surrender. According to international law, they were considered out of combat.

Rights workers managed to identify the locations of two out of three cases of executions.

Human Rights Watch also investigated a fourth case, analyzing another video clip posted on social media on February 19. The footage shows two Russian military personnel executing three unarmed Ukrainian soldiers who had surrendered. The fifth case confirmed that Russians executed at least six Ukrainian soldiers.

The human rights organization sent a request to the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, asking for comments on the incidents described above. Moscow did not respond.

Executions of Ukrainian soldiers by Russians

According to a UN report, the Russian army executed at least 32 Ukrainian military personnel who fell into captivity during the winter.

Meanwhile, the Office of the President said that occupiers had recorded the killings of 54 Ukrainian prisoners, while 27 criminal cases were opened regarding the executions.

One of the most resonant cases of shooting a Ukrainian prisoner was the murder of the soldier Oleksandr Matsiievskyi. The occupiers shot the hero near the town of Soledar in the Donetsk region after he said "Glory to Ukraine."

He was posthumously awarded the title Hero of Ukraine, and a monument was erected in Kyiv in honor of Oleksandr Matsiievskyi.