After graphic videos of Russian soldiers was released showing them being tortured as prisoners of war by Ukraine soldiers, Russia has launched a probe.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement on Sunday: “The video circulating online shows captured soldiers being shot in the legs without medical assistance,”
Alexander Bastrykkn, the head of the investigative body has ordered “investigators to establish all the circumstances of the incident, collect and record evidence and identify all the persons involved in it to subsequently bring them to justice.”
It is still unclear as to when and where the video was shot, but some reports indicate that it was at a compound in Eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkov, currently used by “nationalist” units.
The internet has been lit up by multiple disturbing videos, allegedly filmed at this facility, showing extremely graphic violence being carried out against Russian POWs.
The videos are so graphic RT is unable to share them, the footage shows apparent Russian prisoners laying on the ground, heavily beaten and many of them have leg wounds.
While being interrogated by Ukrainian soldiers, who were wearing blue armbands – commonly used by Ukrainian units – some of those Russian soldiers who were injured died during their investigation.
The footage also shows there Russian soldiers being led out of a van and then shot in the leg at point-blank range.
Some of the soldiers were also shot in the testicles, who were then left laying on the ground, bleeding out.
The video was so extreme, it even caused condemnation from pro-Ukrainian figures. Eliot Higgins, founder of the US-government funded Bellingcat, described the videos as a “very serious incident” and called for “further investigation.”
Senior Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in an interview on Sunday, “The government is taking this very seriously, and there will be an immediate investigation,” adding, “We are a European army, and we do not mock our prisoners. If this turns out to be real, this is absolutely unacceptable behavior.”
In a separate video statement released on Sunday, Arestovych said:
“I would like to remind all our military, civilian, and defense forces once again that the abuse of prisoners is a war crime that has no amnesty under military law and has no statute of limitations.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s head of Ukraine’s armed forces, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, however, accused Russia of “staging” the videos in a statement.
“In order to discredit the Ukrainian defense forces, the enemy is filming and distributing staging videos with inhumane attitude of ‘Ukrainian military’ to ‘Russian prisoners,'”
“I urge you to take into account the realities of the information and psychological war and trust only official sources,” Zaluzhnyi’s statement continued. “The enemy produces and shares with the inhuman treatment of alleged ‘Russian prisoners’ by ‘Ukrainian soldiers’ in order to discredit Ukrainian Defence Forces.”