Ukraine investigating if Russian troops killed surrendering soldiers

Dec 3, 2023, 11:00 AM

A Ukraine serviceman uniform is seen during a celebration ceremony of the Independence Day at St. S...

A Ukraine serviceman uniform is seen during a celebration ceremony of the Independence Day at St. Sophia Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on August 24. (NurPhoto/Getty Images)

(NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Originally Published: 03 DEC 23 09:36 ET

Kyiv, Ukraine (CNN) — Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating whether Russian troops killed two Ukrainian service members after the pair had surrendered.

The probe, which is being overseen by the Ukraine prosecutor general’s office, was announced a day after video of the incident was shared by Ukrainian government on social media. The incident took place near an observation post outside the village of Stepove near Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, the office said in a statement.

“The killing of prisoners of war is a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions and is classified as a serious international crime,” the statement read.

The Ukrainian military said on Saturday that the footage showed the execution of two prisoners of war. CNN could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Russia has been accused of carrying out a litany of crimes since it invaded Ukraine, though the Kremlin has denied wrongdoing. Earlier this year, The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for his alleged role in a scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia

Ukrainian officials are investigating a substantial number of criminal cases and war crimes, including 3,000 involving children.

Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, on Saturday wrote on Telegram that the killing of the unarmed soldiers was “not an isolated case.”

A video that surfaced in March appeared to show Russian troops executing a captured Ukrainian soldier, and two videos that emerged the following month on pro-Russian social media seemed to capture on camera Russian troops beheading Ukrainian service members.

Lubinets said that he believed Ukrainian officials would be able to identify the Russian troops responsible.

“I believe that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies will be able to identify the Russian servicemen who committed this crime,” Lubintes added.

CNN’s Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report

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Ukraine investigating if Russian troops killed surrendering soldiers