kyiv calls for investigation after video of alleged execution of Ukrainian POW
A soldier standing in a trench, a brief exchange in Russian followed by automatic gunshots and his body suddenly collapsing. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, called on Monday for an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the broadcast of a video showing, according to him, a prisoner of war Ukrainian executed by Russian soldiers.
The video, which was circulating on Twitter on Monday evening, shows what appears to be a soldier standing up smoking a cigarette and shot after saying Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine). AFP had been unable to independently verify where and when the footage was taken, or whether it showed, as claimed by Ukrainian officials and social media users, a Ukrainian prisoner of war.
“Horrifying video of an unarmed Ukrainian POW being executed by Russian forces for simply saying Glory to Ukraine. Another proof that this war is genocidal,” commented Dmytro Kouleba on Twitter. “It is imperative that (ICC Prosecutor) Karim Khan launch an immediate investigation into this heinous war crime,” he added, calling for “the perpetrators of these acts” to be “brought to justice”. .
These images were also mentioned by President Volodymyr Zelensky in his evening video speech, in which he promised to “find the murderers”. The #SlavaUkraini hashtag was repeated on social media on Monday, as several Ukrainian officials called for an investigation and demanded justice.
Moscow and kyiv have repeatedly mutually accused of killing prisoners of war since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine but not over Russia’s “crimes of aggression” because Moscow is not a signatory to the Rome Treaty establishing the court.