Moscow criticized Washington on Tuesday after its war crimes envoy argued Russia’s atrocities far exceeded those in Kyiv, after videos surfaced allegedly showing Ukrainian soldiers executing surrendering Russian troops.
“Any normal person shudders and rejects such atrocities. We will never forget the horrific murder of unarmed soldiers who were forced to the ground… and then shot mercilessly,” the Russian embassy in the United States said in a Telegram post. .
“How can the Administration explain its callous attitude towards the death of ordinary warriors to their mothers, wives and children?” questioned
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Russia has been accused of committing war crimes since the onslaught of its invasion, which prompted the International Criminal Court and several Western nations to open thousands of investigations into serious human rights abuses, including forced deportations, sexual abuse, torture and murder. of Ukrainian civilians. .
However, questions arose over the weekend related to possible war crimes committed by Ukraine after videos surfaced on social media purporting to show Ukrainian soldiers killing Russian troops who had apparently surrendered.
“Obviously we are following that very closely,” US Ambassador General for International Criminal Justice Beth van Schaack told reporters on Monday. “It is really important to emphasize that the laws of war apply to all parties equally, both the aggressor state and the defending state.
“But when it comes to the war in Ukraine, that’s where the equivalency really ends,” he continued. “When we look at the magnitude of the criminality exhibited by the Russian forces, it is enormous compared to the allegations that we have seen against the Ukrainian forces.”
Russia took issue with van Schaack’s comments, calling them “cynical” and also questioning his “refusal” to condemn what the embassy described as a “massacre.”
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Fox News was unable to verify the authenticity of the videos, and Ukrainian officials said this week they would investigate the allegations.
Fragmented videos reportedly circulated on Russian social media over the weekend showing a group of soldiers who appeared to be Russian, with red and white bands on their arms and legs, surrendering to Ukrainian troops wearing yellow bands and blue.
According to footage reviewed by the Associated Press, a 36-second video showed a group of about 10 Russian soldiers, some lying on the ground, while others, apparently unarmed, walked out of a building with their arms raised. Orders were then shouted and the 10 Russians joined the men on the ground.
A man who appears to be armed came out from behind the outbuilding before the video became too blurry to make out what was happening when the shots rang out.
The video then cut out.
Another 8-second video reportedly showed the gunman opening fire with a rifle in slow effect.
A separate 25-second video appeared to have been shot with a drone and showed the men lying motionless in pools of blood.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded that the international community condemn the shootings.
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Moscow accused the United States of “tolerating” Kyiv’s “crimes” and said that “Washington supports murderers who deserve neither forgiveness nor justification.”
The US war envoy encouraged Ukrainian and Russian soldiers to comply with international law or “face the consequences” for violating terms outlined in the Geneva Convention.
Associated Press contributed to this report.