Russian withdrawal from Kyiv is not a ‘withdrawal’, NATO chief warns
On April 3, Human Rights Watch said videos of possible abuse of Russian POWs by Ukrainian forces are credible enough to require an effective investigation. He also reiterated that, if confirmed, the abuses would constitute a war crime. Ukraine should ensure an “effective investigation” into alleged abuses by Ukrainian fighters of Russian prisoners of war, Human Rights Watch said.
“Beating and shooting captured fighters in their legs would constitute a war crime,” HRW warned, adding that Ukraine must demonstrate its willingness to prevent and punish serious violations of international humanitarian law. .
HRW released a report, saying videos uploaded early March 27, 2022 appear to show Ukrainian forces abusing captured Russian combatants or combatants, who have POW status, including shooting them in the leg. “The incident appears to have taken place in a village near the city of Kharkiv, which Ukrainian officials said they were taking over two days earlier,” the rights body said. A video published on March 28 by a Ukrainian journalist shows three charred bodies in the same place, but it is not clear if they were Russian soldiers.
“Any information contained in videos that suggests abuse, and perhaps worse, of POWs must be effectively investigated,” said Aisling Reidy, senior legal adviser at Human Rights Watch. “It should be possible to check whether abuses have taken place and, from there, hold those responsible to account.”
The adviser to the Ukrainian president, Olexiy Arestovych, admitted that the abuse of prisoners of war constituted a war crime and said he would be punished. “I would like to remind all of our military, civilian and defense forces once again that the abuse of prisoners of war is a war crime that has no amnesty under military law and has no statute of limitations,” he posted on Telegram.