According to reports from the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Russian soldiers are alleged to have shot Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) near the village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region, where active hostilities are underway.
On Wednesday, Dec. 27, a video surfaced on Ukrainian social media, purportedly showing Russian military personnel shooting captured Ukrainian soldiers.
The video’s author, Stanislav Bunyatov, a fighter from the Armed Force of Ukraine’s (AFU) 24th Separate Assault Battalion “Aidar,” claims the shooting involves soldiers from the AFU’s 117th Separate Mechanized Brigade. Kyiv Post could not independently verify the content. Additionally, Ukrainian officials have not commented on the information.
The Office of the Prosecutor General’s press service announced yesterday that criminal proceedings have been initiated based on the alleged violation of the laws and customs of war, coupled with intentional murder (Part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
The investigation determined that in December of this year, Russian servicemen captured three Ukrainian defenders during a battle near the village of Robotyne.
“An hour later, in violation of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, the occupiers shot them,” the report said.
The pre-trial investigation is being conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in the Zaporizhzhia region.
On Thursday, Yuriy Belousov, the head of the Department of Combating Crimes in Conditions of Armed Conflict of the Prosecutor General's Office, stated on Radio Svoboda that the Russians from the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division of the Russian forces, also known as the “Pskov Airborne Division,” may be involved in the shooting.
“We are currently verifying this data,” he said. Belousov said that this division is already known for war crimes committed in Ukraine, particularly in the Kyiv region.
The names of the deceased Ukrainian soldiers have been established but are undergoing verification before public disclosure. The Prosecutor General’s Office has not commented on the current location of the bodies.
According to Belousov, a video depicting the execution of the fighters reached the Prosecutor General’s Office on Dec. 16, presumably when the incident occurred.
He noted that such behavior by the Russian military in the Zaporizhzhia region appears to be systematic, citing previous instances where Ukrainians were used as human shields. Belousov suggested that the Russian command could instruct its subordinates since it is aware of their actions.
On Dec. 13, Radio Svoboda released a video captured by a Ukrainian drone, revealing Russian infantry compelling Ukrainian POWs to advance ahead of them during a recent ground battle. The footage shows the soldiers shooting one of the prisoners dead during the attack.
The incident reportedly occurred near the village of Robotyne. The video depicts the Russian infantry advancing through a wooded area marked by shell craters and defensive dugouts. At least three unarmed Ukrainian soldiers are seen being forced to walk at gunpoint ahead of the advancing Russian forces.
The actions depicted in the drone video violate Articles 50 and 54 of the Third Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs. These articles expressly prohibit holding prisoners in combat areas exposed to fire and using them as “shields” against military operations.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter