A drone video published on Wednesday by Radio Liberty shows Russian infantry forcing Ukrainian prisoners of war (POW) to advance ahead of them as they took part in a recent ground battle, shooting one of the prisoners dead during the attack.

The incident reportedly took place in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, near the village of Robotyne. The images showed that, as the Russian infantry advanced along a wood line dotted with shell craters and defensive dug outs, at least three unarmed Ukrainian soldiers appeared to be forced to walk ahead of them at gunpoint.

One scene of the edited video shows a Russian soldier walking directly behind an unarmed Ukrainian prisoner with one hand on the Ukrainian’s shoulder and the other holding an assault rifle.


Both Russians and Ukrainians at times appear to be under fire and crouch or take cover in low ground. One Russian soldier is shown to fire his rifle in the direction of one of the Ukrainian prisoners of war ahead of him, or at a nearby target.

Another section of the video later shows Russian infantry moving Ukrainian prisoners of war away from the fighting, at gunpoint.

As the Ukrainian POWs run away from the wood line followed by the Russian infantrymen, one Ukrainian falls to the ground after being shot by one of the Russian troops.

The actions shown in the drone video are self-evidently in violation of Articles 50 and 54 of the Third Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs which specifically says they must not be held in combat areas where they are exposed to fire, nor can they be used to “shield” areas from military operations.

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The Soviet Union ratified the Geneva Conventions in 1954. In 1991 the Russian Federation affirmed it would respect the obligations of its articles and resolutions.

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