DONETSK, November 22. /TASS/. The Ukrainian side is seeking to pin the blame on the Russian soldiers who were executed by Ukrainian troops in the village of Makeyevka in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in a bid to preserve support from the United States and European countries, Alexander Kofman, chair of the Civic Chamber of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) told TASS on Tuesday.
The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said on Tuesday it had launched a criminal case against the executed Russian soldiers on charges of violating laws and customs of war. The Ukrainian side is accusing them of "perfidy" claiming that they pretended to surrender but opened fire at Ukrainian troops.
"The execution of prisoners of war by Ukraine has become a perfect chance to dissociate themselves from Ukraine and European politicians jumped at this chance. <…> In such a situation, Ukraine needs to legitimize this incident to keep the European and American forces involved in the processes and not let them step aside. The missile attack in Poland was the first such attempt. It failed. And when they exposed themselves with this execution, they are now trying to backpedal," Kofman said.
He stressed that judging by the video of the execution of the Russian soldiers, they were ready to surrender. "The simple truth is: we see a video featuring Russian soldiers lying on the ground alive. They are going out and lying down in a certain order. And we see a video where they are lying dead in the same order. So, it is absurd to say that these soldiers jumped up and took guns. They were shot dead when they were lying on the ground," he said.
A video featuring Ukrainian soldiers shooting dead Russian servicemen who had surrendered and were lying on the ground was released on the internet on November 18. According to Valery Fadeyev, head of the Russian presidential council on the development of civil society and human rights, the incident took place in the LPR’s village of Makeyevka. He called this incident a demonstrative and blatant crime requiring an international investigation and promised to show evidence of this crime to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, Amnesty International, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other international organizations.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case following the mass execution of Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian soldiers.