Disturbing footage emerged showing a Russian soldier castrating a Ukrainian prisoner, who is believed to have been murdered later.
The video, which first appeared on various Russian Telegram channels and was later shared to other social media platforms, shows a soldier approaching a bound figure lying face down, wearing plaques. blue and yellow.
The Russian soldier, wearing surgical gloves and holding a knife, then cuts the back of the prisoner’s pants before reaching down to mutilate the captive.
The genitals of the Ukrainian detainee, who is being restrained by some Russian soldiers in camouflage, are then shown on camera.
Some reports have described the weapon used by the Russian soldier as a box cutter.
A later clip is said to have shown the same Ukrainian prisoner tied up and shot in the head.
The Independent could not verify the footage, but the Bellingcat investigative agency said it appeared to be authentic and the video was shared by pro-Russian media.
An adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, also pointed out that the video was real and vowed that Kyiv would identify and punish the soldiers’ killers for torture and murder.
A Ukrainian MP said on Twitter that she had been banned from posting videos by the platform.
MP Inna Sovsun later shared a screenshot of the original post with blurred footage, in which she wrote: “Russian soldier of Chechnya Ahmat battalion cut off the genitals of Ukrainian prisoners (prisoners). war soldiers).
“This is what the Nazis are doing to the Ukrainians.
“Russia has to pay for that!
“Give Ukraine the weapons we need to stop this nightmare once and for all. The world can’t pretend this isn’t happening! “
In a second tweet posted on Friday, Ms Sovsun wrote: “Twitter banned my profile today. Because I posted a video where a Russian soldier castrates a Ukrainian prisoner.
“@Twitter decided it was too cruel. But here’s what happens. And deleting the video won’t change that.
“Everyone should know what # Russia is doing!”
Kyiv’s prosecutor general’s office has since announced that it has opened an investigation into the video, while its Foreign Ministry has called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation.
“Ukraine strongly condemns the atrocities committed by servicemen of the Russian Federation against Ukrainian prisoners of war, in particular cases of torture, physical abuse, inhuman and intentional treatment. causing suffering or serious harm to body or health and intentionally killing Ukrainian prisoners of war,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calls on the international community to condemn the Russian Federation’s brutal violation of international law and immediately recognize Russia as a terrorist state.
“He stressed that any delay in this decision will only encourage Russia to commit more crimes and inhuman acts.”
Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, described the “attack as” yet another clear example of the utter disregard for life and human dignity in Ukraine by the military. Russia caused.
She continued: “All persons suspected of criminal responsibility must be investigated and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecuted in fair trials before the civil courts through the courts. usually and without the need for the death penalty.
“Since Russia began its war with Ukraine, Amnesty International has documented crimes under international law, such as murders captured by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. and illegal executions of Ukrainian civilians by Russian forces.
“International law is clear: prisoners of war must not be subjected to any form of torture or ill treatment, and must have immediate access to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The authorities concerned must fully respect the rights of prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions”.
Paul Massaro, senior policy adviser to the US Committee on Security and Co-operation in Europe, said the “horrific crimes perpetrated by Russian aggressors” showed the urgency of helping Ukraine end the war. painting.
“The barbarism and depravity of the Russian invaders are rising. Castrate, murder, rape, kill children, raze cities. He tweeted.
It comes as dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war appear to have been killed when a prison building was destroyed in a missile attack.
Reuters television showed the remains of a burned-out cavern with metal beds, some with charred bodies lying on them while others were stacked on military stretchers or on the ground. outside.
Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of carrying out the attack.
The Russian Defense Ministry said 40 prisoners were killed and 75 wounded in the attack on the prison, in the front-line town of Olenivka, in part of the separatist-held Donetsk region.
A separatist spokesman put the death toll at 53 and accused Kyiv of targeting the prison with US-made HIMARS missiles.
But the Ukrainian armed forces denied responsibility, saying that Russian artillery targeted the prison to cover up abuses of those detained there. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of committing war crimes and called for international condemnation.
Ukraine has accused Russia of brutality and barbarism against civilians since its invasion and says it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes.