KYIV: Ukraine launched an inquiry on Sunday into what it said was an “execution” by Russia forces of two unarmed Ukrainian soldiers who had signalled their intention to surrender.

Ukrainian officials condemned the reported incident as a “war crime”. There was no official reaction from Moscow.

On Saturday a short video, whose authenticity could be confirmed, was posted on Telegram showing two men coming out of a shelter, one with his hands above his head, before lying on the ground in front of another group of soldiers.

This is followed by what appears to be gunfire, and rising smoke, before the video cuts off abruptly.

The public prosecutor’s office in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk said that according to “preliminary data”, the images were filmed near the village of Stepove, close to Avdiivka, an eastern town where fighting is raging.

“The video shows how a group of people in Russian uniforms shoot at close range two unarmed servicemen in the uniform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who surrendered as prisoners,” the prosecutor’s office wrote. “Investigators and prosecutors have started an investigation”.

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

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2023

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