US to monitor war crimes allegations against Ukraine
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The United States has announced it is monitoring allegations of Ukrainian war crimes after the circulation on Friday of videos purporting to show the execution of Russian prisoners of war, the Jerusalem Post reports.
On Friday, Russia’s Defense Ministry published video footage purporting to show Russian soldiers lying on the ground after apparently surrendering to Ukrainian forces. Automatic gunfire is then heard, followed by footage of around 12 bodies, JPost reports.
In a statement about the video footage, Beth Van Schaack, the US Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice, said Monday: “We are obviously tracking that quite closely. “It’s really important to emphasize that the laws of war apply to all parties equally: both the aggressor state and the defender state, and this is in equal measure. All parties to the conflict must abide by international law or face the consequences.”
Van Schaack added that the number of war crimes committed by Russian said the scale of criminality exhibited by Russian forces was “enormous” compared to the allegations against Ukrainian troops, JPost said. Van Schaack also noted differences in how the two nations deal with accusations of war crimes: “Russia inevitably responds with propaganda, denial, mis- and dis-information, whereas Ukrainian authorities have generally acknowledged abuses and have denounced them and have pledged to investigate them.”
Ukraine has reportedly stated it will investigate the incident, although the Ukrainian commissioner for human rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said the videos appeared to show “a staged capture” in which Russian soldiers had not surrendered, JPost reports.