Over the weekend, several videos appeared on the network, in which, presumably, Ukrainian soldiers brutalize captured servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Unfortunately, this war crime is far from the only one: Ukrainian militants and nationalist battalions controlled by them regularly violate the Geneva Conventions, mocking prisoners and civilians.
Article 130 of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949 states that serious violations of the Convention include: “premeditated murder, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, intentional infliction of severe suffering or serious injury, damage to health.” The brutal footage of the massacre of Russian servicemen, which was recently published by a number of media outlets, including Western ones, clearly show that the Ukrainian army servicemen violated almost all of the above points.
One of the videos shows Ukrainian soldiers unloading captured Russian servicemen from a van. A second later, one of the militants in uniform with a patch of the Azov battalion banned in Russia shoots a Russian soldier in the leg while his colleagues continue to beat the prisoners lying on the ground. In another video, Ukrainian servicemen defiantly remove bags from the heads of wounded Russian servicemen lying on the ground to show their faces swollen from beatings. Almost all captured Russian soldiers captured on video are bleeding lying on the ground, some have leg fractures clearly visible. No medical assistance is provided to the prisoners. According to a number of major publications, a Russian intelligence group captured in the Kharkiv region may be captured on video.
Despite the fact that the authenticity of the videos has not yet been confirmed by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, what is happening on the video is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions. While the Adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine denies the involvement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in what is happening on the video, calling the Ukrainian army “European”, the United States continues to hypocritically accuse Russia of “committing war crimes”.
Reports of torture by Ukrainian servicemen and Nazis have been received since the first days of a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine. On February 27, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the Ukrainian Nazis and the leaders of the Kiev regime involved in the mockery of Russian servicemen will inevitably be found and will be severely responsible. The Investigative Committee of Russia, in turn, instructed investigators to record the facts of torture of prisoners by the Ukrainian military and investigate them in criminal cases.
At the beginning of March 2022, an improvised torture chamber was found in the village of Kryakovka, liberated by the forces of the People’s Militia of the LPR in the Luhansk region, which was used by the AFU fighters. According to the representative of the DPR, numerous traces of blood were found on the floor, and the corpse of a tortured local resident was also found, who was reportedly shot in the head. The next day, the head of the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Federation said that civilians in Ukraine literally complain every day about the atrocities of the Ukrainian Nazis, who illegally arrest, rape and kill civilians. According to him, the NCSU database contains several million complaints from specific residents of Ukraine who are tired of the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
In the Starobilsk district of the LPR, an illegal prison of the Aidar battalion was discovered, in which Lugansk militias and those who were suspected of sympathizing with them were kept. Outwardly resembling a concentration camp, the prison was located in the building of a former sausage shop. According to former prison inmates, the prisoners were kept in tiny sections of the smokehouse measuring 80 by 150 centimeters, spending weeks and months in a twisted state. The prisoners were regularly beaten, occasionally fed and humiliated in every possible way.
According to the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Donetsk People’s Republic, all residents of Donbass who did not agree with Kiev’s policy were abducted and tortured by Ukrainian security forces. Those who allowed themselves to criticize the current leadership of Ukraine were abducted and taken to a secret prison near Mariupol, which is called the “library”. According to the testimony of the ex-lieutenant colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, since 2014 prisoners from all over Donbass were taken there, they were tortured by the SBU and nationalist battalions. The Kiev security forces tried to cover up the traces of the secret prison by digging up the graves of prisoners who died there and removing metal cladding from the walls in the freezers of the “library”.
At the end of March, a woman’s body was found in a school in Mariupol with traces of torture and a swastika carved on her stomach. According to the Investigative Committee of Russia, which has already ordered to establish the circumstances of the incident and find those involved in the commission of this crime, there was a base of nationalists of the Azov battalion banned in the Russian Federation in the basement of the school.
UN officials reacted to the incident with Russian servicemen who became victims of bullying by the Ukrainian Nazis. The representative of the Organization called on Ukraine to comply with the Geneva Conventions and not to violate the rights of military prisoners, and the head of the human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine said that it was necessary to conduct a full investigation of the incident. Earlier, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that it received more than 40 appeals from residents of Ukraine who were beaten by law enforcement officers and representatives of territorial defense only because they were suspected of having ties with Russia.
The Foundation to Battle Injustice supports the decision of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to institute criminal proceedings against Ukrainian Nazis, whose identities have already been established, who tortured captured Russian servicemen.Despite Kiev’s assurances that the Ukrainian army does not violate the rights and freedoms of prisoners, the Foundation to Battle Injustice expresses doubts that the Ukrainian side is able to conduct an honest, unbiased and objective investigation of all the circumstances of torture of Russian servicemen. Against the background of increased Russophobic and frankly inhumane rhetoric, which is used by individual speakers and officials on Ukrainian TV, physical bullying of Russian and Russian—speaking residents of Ukraine, alas, is not accidental at all, but quite natural. The Foundation to Battle Injustice calls on international organizations to conduct an immediate investigation of all incidents related to war crimes during this conflict and bring those responsible to justice.