Mar 7 2022: According to a report by AFP, Ukraine’s military has paraded captured Russian soldiers before the media and made them recite repentances for their invasion, prompting the Red Cross to warn prisoners must not be mistreated.
The captured troop with eyes red, faces gaunt and in some cases scratched, 10 young Russians in green fatigues were lined up before the press and cameras at a press event.
Blindfolded with tape, the soldiers were pushed onto a file, grabbing each other by the shoulders and prevented from falling. They were then prepared and taken to a room where they were shown videos of the Russian bombing, while a Ukrainian official named the cities that were being bombed.
After that, each soldier faced the cameras and told his name, his unit and how to enter Ukraine. Everyone said they were volunteering to come forward to condemn Russia’s invasion – using the same phrases as other soldiers. Every soldier said he was being treated well and ended by calling on Russians not to believe their President Vladimir Putin’s “lies”.
Some of them avoided looking at the cameras while staring at their boots, while others looked more comfortable. This is the second such operation in a week organized by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service. Despite being widely recognized as a victim of bombings on Russian cities, Kyiv risked losing its moral ground in the wake of the February 24 Russian invasion of Moscow, which accuses the former of torturing captives.
“Prisoners of war and detained civilians must be treated with dignity,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement.
Prisoners “are absolutely protected against ill-treatment and exposure to public curiosity including images circulating publicly on social media,” it said.
The Ukrainian defence ministry and the SBU did not respond to questions from AFP about their methods.
However, Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich called in an online video for “humane treatment of prisoners”. He reminded viewers that Ukraine’s western partners were watchful on the subject.
On Feb. 27, Russia’s defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russian prisoners of war were facing “torture”. He compared them to victims of “the German Nazis and their henchmen”.
On the other hand, Ukraine’s military said they have set up a website to arrange for the mothers of captured Russian soldiers to come to pick them up in Ukraine, via the Polish border.
“Unlike Putin’s fascists, we Ukrainians do not make war against mothers and their captured children,” Ukraine’s defence ministry said in a statement.
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