Outrage at the Russian intent to kill ‘war prisoners’

Ukrainian officials condemned a proposal by the Russian embassy in Britain for the “humiliating” killing of Azov unit soldiers.

The tweet was sent as Moscow and Kyiv traded blame for an attack on a prison holding Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian-controlled territory, which reportedly resulted in the deaths of approximately 50 individuals, including members of the Azov unit.

“Azov militants deserve to be executed, not by firing squad but by hanging, as they are not genuine troops. They deserve a humiliating death,” the diplomatic mission of Moscow tweeted overnight.

The message was accompanied by a video supposedly showing a couple in Russian-held Mariupol alleging Ukrainian forces bombarded them at the Azovstal metal facility during the heated battle for the city.

“Russia is a state of terrorism. In the twenty-first century, only barbarians and terrorists can discuss, at the diplomatic level, whether or not someone deserves to be hung to death. “Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism,” the head of the Ukrainian president’s office posted on Telegram.

What evidence is required?

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of conducting the deadly shelling of the prison holding captive service members in Olenivka, which is under Kremlin control.

Moscow said Ukraine targeted the facility to discourage its forces from surrendering, while Kyiv accused Russia of committing a “war crime” by bombing the prison.

Oleg Nikolenko, Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman, tweeted, “There is no distinction between Russian diplomats advocating for the execution of Ukrainian prisoners of war and Russian troops carrying it out in Olenivka. They are complicit in these war crimes and must be held responsible.”

By deciding to surrender in May, Ukrainian soldiers, including members of Azov, ended a weeks-long siege of the giant Azovstal factory in Mariupol.

After calling an end to their struggle, some 2,500 warriors were captured by Moscow’s forces.

Mykyta Nadtochiy, commander of the Azov regiment, stated in a video message, “We regard Russia’s attack on Olenivka to be an act of public execution conducted with perfect impunity.”

He stressed those guilty of this conduct will be “caught wherever they are,” and Ukraine will “guarantee that they are punished fairly.”

The Azov regiment is a former volunteer battalion with ties to far-right figures, which has generated controversy. In 2014, the force was formally absorbed into Ukraine’s National Guard as it fought separatists backed by the Kremlin in eastern Ukraine.

Azov fighters are demonized as “neo-nazis” by Russia’s tightly controlled state media and government authorities.

The Kremlin asserts it invaded its pro-Western neighbor in February in part to “denazify” the nation.

Kyiv and its Western allies have categorically disputed the claim, stating that it was used as a pretext to bolster support for the invasion of Ukraine within Russia.