In a video released on March 27, we can see three people in a state of exhaustion, with their hands tied behind their backs and other armed men thrown from the van to the ground, shooting them in the legs.
Unable to independently establish the authenticity of the images, AFP reported that the video was shot in the village of Mala Rogan in the Kharkiv region (northeast), which was reopened earlier in the week by Ukrainian forces after the attack.
AFP reporters who visited Mala Rogan on March 28 found the bodies of two Russian soldiers lying in an alley in the village, mostly destroyed by fighting and at least two bodies dumped in a well.
“If confirmed, beating and shooting captured militants is a war crime,” the HRW said in a statement Thursday evening.
“Ukraine must prove that it is capable and prepared to prevent and punish serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the international body added.
Oleksiï Arestovitch, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, acknowledged in a telegram that abusing prisoners was a “war crime” and that such acts should be “punished.”
“Regardless of your personal emotional impulses, we will treat prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Convention,” he told the military.
Alexander Bastrikin, director of the Russian Intelligence Agency, has been ordered by the country’s main criminal investigation agency to launch an investigation into alleged abuses.
Russian soldiers have been accused of abuse since the start of the Ukraine invasion, which began on February 24.