Moscow has accused the Ukrainian military and neo-Nazi battalion fighters of acts of sadism against captured Russian military personnel, with Ukrainian forces themselves openly posting multiple videos of Russian PoWs being tortured and killed in cold blood. A Danish ‘volunteer’ fighting in Ukraine has confirmed to local media that Ukrainian forces have been killing Russian forces.
“I’ve heard about one successful prisoner exchange, and that’s it. People are being killed,” the fighter, using the pseudonym ‘Jonas’, told Denmark’s TV2.
The channel confirmed that it knows his real identity and that he really is in Ukraine.
The fighter said he spoke to some of the captured Russian PoWs before their execution. He said one of the troops was an 18-year-old Russian who worked as a computer programmer. “The following morning he was buried. These things follow you,” he said.
‘Jonas’ distanced himself from the war crimes, and insisted that he did not personally participate in the killings of captured Russian troops.
International laws of warfare to which both Russia and Ukraine are signatories prohibit the killing of captured combatants and demand that they be treated humanely and be provided medical attention if required.
The execution of prisoners of war is prohibited.
‘Jonas’ said he’s an experienced sniper with military training and experience in several conflicts around the world and claims to have killed nearly 100 Russians during his time in Ukraine.
“I did what I could. Let’s put it this way,” he said. The mercenary also said that his family back in Denmark was proud of him and that his father was “happy to hear” that he would be traveling to Ukraine to fight.
The mercenary also spoke about the fallout from the Russian precision missile strike on the military base in western Ukraine in March, saying about half of the foreigners at the base chose to leave the country after the strike.
The Danish government has allowed its citizens to go fight in Ukraine without facing any legal consequences. Despite being widely described in media as “volunteers,” many of the foreign nationals fighting in Ukraine are being paid, whether by private businessmen, GoFundMe campaigns, job postings on sites such as Silent Professionals, or, reportedly, by Ukraine directly.
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Some of the mercenaries expressed disappointment with their new-found comrades in arms shortly after arriving in Ukraine, and issued testimonials upon their return to their home of war crimes by Ukrainian forces and their international allies, including alleged threats to shoot ‘volunteers’ in the back if they attempt to leave, or taking away their passports.
Russian investigators opened a new criminal probe into the suspected torture and abuse of Russian PoWs in Ukraine on Thursday, on the basis of the testimony of an Army private and radio operator who spent 29 days in captivity and faced constant beatings and threats from his captors that he would be killed.
Last week, Russian special forces reportedly captured two Ukrainians held responsible for the brutal on-tape torture of Russian troops. The nationalists, believed to be either members of the armed forces or one of Ukraine’s nationalist battalions, filmed themselves humiliating and shooting Russian soldiers, with eight of them succumbing to their injuries.
Separately, a video depicting the massacre of four Russian PoWs went viral last week, showing dead servicemen, their hands bound, lying in pools of blood as servicemen on camera say “Glory to Ukraine.”
The New York Times later confirmed the authenticity of the video.
In an interview, Mamuka Mamulashvili, leader of the so-called ‘Georgian National Legion’, said that his unit would not be taking any Russian prisoners, and, referring to the gruesome video, admitted that “sometimes [these people] have their hands tied” and expressed no remorse over the incident. Ukrainian media have alleged that the Georgian Legion was responsible for the executions of the Russian troops in the clip.