The Russian Defense Ministry cited a video circulating on their social media showing the execution of 12 soldiers.
The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday accused Ukraine of the execution of more than ten Russians prisoners of war in what Moscow said was a “war crime,” the latest charge of abuse in the nearly nine-month war.
The ministry cited a video circulating on Russian social media that it said showed the execution of Russian soldiers. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the video or the Defense Department’s claim.
“This brutal murder of Russian soldiers is neither the first nor the only war crime,” the Defense Ministry said.
“This is common practice in the armed forces of Ukraine, which is actively supported by the Kiev regime and blatantly ignored by its Western patrons.”
There was no immediate response from Kiev to Moscow’s claims. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of war crimes, claims Russia has denied.
The video appears to show Russian soldiers lying on the ground in Makiivka, in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, after surrendering to gunmen with yellow bands on their arms.
Then automatic gunfire rings out and the video shows the bodies. About 12 bodies are shown. It was unclear when the video was filmed or who filmed it.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the video showed “the deliberate and methodical killing of more than 10 immobilized Russian military personnel by degenerate Ukrainian soldiers.”
The Defense Ministry said the video was a sign of the “horrific nature” of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his “regime” in Kiev, saying he would “answer before the court of history and the people of Russia and Ukraine”.
The Russian Investigative Committee, which investigates serious crimes, later said it had opened a criminal case for the execution of “at least 11 unarmed Russian military personnel”. In a statement, it said investigators were working to identify the people who filmed the video.