Russian TV pundit urges soldiers to shoot Ukrainian POWs

Russian TV pundit urges soldiers to shoot Ukrainian POWs
Russian TV pundit urges soldiers to shoot Ukrainian POWs

A guest on Russian state television raised the possibility of a Russian military unit shooting Ukrainian prisoners of war.

State Duma member Alexander Kazakov made the remarks on state television in response to a recent incident that led to Kyiv and Moscow accusing each other of war crimes.

Ukraine is investigating footage that Russia says shows Kyiv forces executing more than 10 Russian soldiers who may have been trying to surrender.

According to Reuters, the footage was recorded earlier this month in the town of Makiivka in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian soldiers drive a tank towards the Kherson front line on the way to Kherson on November 18, 2022. A Russian state television guest raised the possibility of a Russian military unit firing on Ukrainian prisoners of war.
BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine also accused Russian soldiers of “treachery”, saying they pretended to surrender but opened fire on Ukrainian troops. The circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear.

“Regarding this specific crime, we should handle it regardless of Western or other views,” Kazakov began in a clip shared on Twitter by Daily Beast columnist Julia Davis. “We have to act extremely tough.”

“We have active combat units that take no prisoners. I know of at least one such unit, a large one. I know why they do it, I’ve seen it in videos,” he continued.

“They don’t provide them to anyone, they take no prisoners and that’s well justified. The leaders know it, but everyone is silent.”

Victor Olevich, a political analyst, countered Kazakov’s suggestion by saying it would be a war crime to kill Ukrainian POWs.

“There are regular exchanges of prisoners of war between Russia and Ukraine. What does that mean ? That Ukraine does not kill everyone,” he replied.

“It’s a war crime. What we see here is a war crime. If Russia starts not taking any POWs, but shooting everyone, then the Ukrainian side will also shoot ours. Is this what Russia needs? No, of course that’s not what Russia needs,” Olevich said.

Russian and Ukrainian authorities said on Wednesday that the two countries had carried out a new exchange of prisoners of war.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, said 35 soldiers and one civilian had returned from captivity in Ukraine.

“Among those released are those who defended Mariupol and who were in Azovstal, as well as national guardsmen captured at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant at the start of the invasion,” Yermak said, adding that the released civilian had had his leg amputated.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that “as a result of the negotiation process, 35 Russian servicemen were discharged from the territory controlled by the kyiv regime”.

The ministry said the Russian soldiers would be sent to Moscow for treatment and rehabilitation.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

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. Russian pundit urges soldiers shoot Ukrainian POWs

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