UN believes video of Ukrainian soldier’s killing ‘may be authentic’

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The United Nations said Wednesday it believes that a viral video showing the apparent execution of a captured Ukrainian soldier by Russian troops may be authentic.

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The footage appears to show a detained Ukrainian combatant standing in a shallow trench being shot to death with multiple automatic weapons after saying “Glory to Ukraine.”

“We are aware of this video posted on social media that shows a Ukrainian soldier hors de combat (not in combat) apparently being executed by Russian armed forces. Based on a preliminary examination, we believe that the video may be authentic,” a spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office told AFP.

“Since Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine over a year ago, the UN Human Rights Office has documented numerous violations of international humanitarian law against prisoners of war, including cases of summary execution of both Russian and Ukrainian POWs,” she said.

“Impartial and effective investigations must be carried out into all these allegations and those responsible held to account.”

Ukraine has vowed to take revenge for the apparent killing, which AFP could not independently verify.

Officials in Kyiv blamed Russian forces and called for the International Criminal Court to investigate.

UN human rights chief Volker Turk said Tuesday that the scale of destruction inflicted by Russia’s war in Ukraine will harm the rights of generations to come.

Turk branded it a “betrayal” of the promises made when universal human rights were laid down in the aftermath of World War II.

“The war in Ukraine has led to civilian casualties and destruction of a shocking magnitude,” Turk said in his main speech to the ongoing UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

“The rights of Ukrainians will be harmed for generations to come.”

Turk is due to speak further on the war in Ukraine on March 31.

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