The Strategic Committee of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has confirmed the authenticity of the footage showing Russian troops gunning down two Ukrainian soldiers upon surrender.
A message posted on Telegram states: "The published footage depicts the execution of two prisoners of war from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to verified information, the Russian occupiers have once again treacherously fired upon unarmed soldiers."
The Prosecutor's Office of the Donetsk region has initiated an investigation following the release of the footage.
The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine has confirmed that pre-trial proceedings are underway concerning the breach of laws and customs of war, specifically for the charge of premeditated murder (as per part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
Ukraine's human rights ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, has also commented on the video, labeling it a "war crime."
"Today, a video of the execution by Russian servicemen of Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered as prisoners appeared online! This is another violation of the Geneva Conventions and disrespect for international humanitarian law!" he wrote on Telegram.
"The Russian side shows its terrorist face again and again!" he added.
Lubinets said the Ukrainian soldiers "were disarmed, and their hands were raised... They did not pose any threat! The Russian side had to capture them and give them the status of prisoners of war."
Vitaly Barabash, the head of the Avdiivka City State Administration, said the Ukrainian Defense Forces have reportedly eliminated the Russian military involved in the shooting of unarmed Ukrainian soldiers soon following the incident.
During a telethon on Sunday, Dec. 3, Barabash explained that two Ukrainian soldiers surrendered to the Russians due to an ammunition shortage.
"They surrendered, indeed, because they ran out of ammunition," Barabash said.
"As far as I know, our guys attacked this position a little later. Everyone who was there was eliminated," he added.
The footage – reportedly filmed near Avdiivka – shows one man emerging from a dugout with his hands above his head before lying face down on the ground.
A few feet from the entrance, several Russian soldiers crouch down pointing their guns.
A few moments later a second Ukrainian soldier emerges. As he struggles out, the Russian soldiers open fire.
Ukrainian blogger Deep State posted the footage online and it was quickly picked up by others.
While the footage has not been independently verified, it would not be the first example of Russian troops killing unarmed Ukrainian soldiers.
In April video emerged of Russian troops beheading a Ukrainian soldier.
And in what became in iconic moment in Ukrainian resistance, an unarmed Ukrainian POW whose final words “Glory to Ukraine” were captured in a video, was gunned down in March.
Oleksandr Matsievskyi’s picture and last words – “Slava Ukraini” in Ukrainian – became the latest symbol and rallying call of the country’s fierce resistance in the face of Moscow’s ongoing aggression.
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