Moscow stepped out in Washington on Tuesday after its war crimes envoy claimed Russia’s atrocities far exceeded those in Kyiv, after videos emerged showing Ukrainian soldiers executing surrendered Russian troops.
“Any normal person shudders and rejects such atrocities. We will never forget the horrific murder of unarmed soldiers who were forced to lie on the ground…then shot without mercy,” the Embassy of Russia to the United States in a Telegram article.
“How can the administration explain its callous attitude towards the deaths of ordinary warriors to their mothers, wives and children?” he wondered.
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Russia has been accused of committing war crimes since its invasion assault, prompting the International Criminal Court and several Western countries to open thousands of investigations into gross human rights violations, including forced evictions, sexual abuse, torture and the killing of Ukrainian civilians. .
However, questions arose over the weekend about possible war crimes committed by Ukraine after videos emerged on social media showing Ukrainian soldiers killing Russian troops who had apparently surrendered.
“We are obviously following this very closely,” U.S. Goodwill Ambassador for International Criminal Justice Beth van Schaack told reporters on Monday. “It’s really important to emphasize that the laws of war apply to all parties equally, both the aggressor state and the defender state.
“But when it comes to the war in Ukraine, that’s really where the equivalence ends,” she continued. “When we look at the scale of criminality exhibited by Russian forces, it’s huge compared to the allegations we’ve seen against Ukrainian forces.”
Russia took issue with van Schaack’s comments, calling them “cynical” and also challenged his “refusal” to condemn what the embassy called a “massacre”.
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Fox News could not verify the authenticity of the videos, and Ukrainian officials said this week they would look into the allegations.
Fragmented video clips were reportedly released on Russian social media over the weekend showing a group of soldiers who appeared to be Russian soldiers – wearing red and white armbands and bands – surrendering to Ukrainian troops who were 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 seemingly unarmed walked out of a building with their arms raised. Orders are then shouted, and the 10 Russians join the men on the ground.
A man who appears to be armed then emerged from behind the outhouse before the video became too blurry to understand what was happening as gunshots rang out.
The video then cut off.
Another 8-second video reportedly showed the shooter opening fire with a rifle in a slow-motion 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 called on the international community to condemn the shooting.
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Moscow accused the United States of “tolerating” Kyiv’s “crimes” and said, “Washington supports murderers who do not deserve forgiveness or justification.”
The US war envoy encouraged Ukrainian and Russian soldiers to abide by international law or “face the consequences” of violating the conditions set out in the Geneva Convention.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.