Video appears to show Ukrainian forces killing Russian captive

A social media video verified by Reuters and geolocated to an area west of Kyiv appears to show Ukrainian forces shooting and killing a captured and badly wounded Russian soldier.

Three rounds were fired by an off-camera individual into the soldier, who is wearing one of the white armbands used by Russian forces. He is bleeding heavily, lying in a road beside a dead soldier, and appears to be breathing with difficulty.

“Look he’s still alive, he’s wheezing already … It’s finished,” says a voice before two rounds are fired. A third is fired after the soldier continues moving.

The video then pans to two other dead soldiers in the road who also have white armbands. One of them has his hands tied behind his back and has been shot in the head. A Russian armoured vehicle has been abandoned nearby.

Reuters could not establish the exact date of the video, which was first reported by the New York Times. Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency published footage of the shooting’s aftermath on March 30.

The apparent Ukrainian forces in the video are Russian speaking. At least one had a Caucasian accent and others had accents typical of places in southern Russia or parts of eastern Ukraine. Some of them shouted “Glory to Ukraine!”

At least one wore a blue armband used by the Ukrainian army, but their affiliation was not clear. One of them had a Ukrainian flag patch on his arm, but it was upside down.

Reuters geolocated the video to the north of the village of Dmytrivka, not far from the town of Bucha northwest of Kyiv where Ukraine has accused Russia of war crimes. Moscow has said the footage of dead bodies in Bucha was staged.

Russia said last week that it would sharply scale back military activity around Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv and Ukraine recaptured towns and villages.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he had not seen the video, but had heard about it.

“I want to reassure you that the Ukrainian army observes the rules of warfare… Of course there might be isolated incidents of the violation of these rules and they will be definitely investigated,” he said.