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Ukraine investigates killing of 38 prisoners of war by Russian occupiers

21 February, 2024 Wednesday
11:10

Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Andriy Kostin, revealed that the killing of 38 prisoners of war by Russian occupiers is under investigation in 18 criminal proceedings in the country

He made this announcement during a telethon.

"We initiate investigations into crimes against prisoners of war promptly upon receiving information. These crimes are not isolated incidents; they're not just the actions of individuals. We perceive them as part of a deliberate policy by Russia, aimed at the destruction of the Ukrainian people – essentially, genocide," Kostin stated.

Ukraine is actively investigating a total of 18 criminal cases related to the murder of 38 prisoners of war. Among the more than 500 suspects in war crimes, 97 are accused of intentional murders, with 8 of them already convicted, as confirmed by the Prosecutor General.

Kostin pointed out that in late January, a Russian battalion commander received a life sentence for killing a Ukrainian defender and torturing civilians in the Chernihiv region.

"In early December, reports surfaced about the murders of our surrendered soldiers. An investigation ensued, revealing that the enemy employed Ukrainian prisoners of war as human shields. This led to the death of one Ukrainian serviceman, and the fate of two others remains unknown. The unit implicated in this crime has been identified as the 'Pskov Airborne Division,' notorious for war crimes in the Kyiv region, particularly in Bucha, where over 350 innocent Ukrainians were ruthlessly killed," stated the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

Currently, on a business trip to Nuremberg, Kostin noted that the US Helsinki Commission is addressing Russia's prosecution for war crimes against Ukraine. He highlighted discussions during the hearings on establishing a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine and using universal jurisdiction to prosecute the perpetrators.

Ukrainian POW executions in Avdiivka

On February 17, the Defense Forces command decided to pull back units from Avdiivka and shift to a more defensible position.

General Tarnavskyi, commander of the Tavria direction, reported that during the Avdiivka withdrawal, Russian forces captured an unspecified number of Ukrainian defenders.

By February 18, reports emerged that six Ukrainian prisoners were shot at the "Zenit" position in Avdiivka by the Russians.

Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets has urged the Red Cross and the UN to investigate the Avdiivka prisoner executions. He confirmed the death of five individuals, with the fate of one defender still unknown.

Ukraine has initiated an investigation into the shooting of captured Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers by Russian occupiers near Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia region.

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