Merdeka.com – A video has emerged purportedly showing Ukrainian troops shooting and killing a captive Russian soldier. The video was shot on a street west of the capital Kiev, where Russian troops were retreating.
Russian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba conveyed on Thursday he knew of the video and would conduct an investigation.
The BBC analyzed the video and here are some of its findings.
The video shows four men in military uniform in the field and one of them having his hands tied behind his back.
They didn’t move but one person seemed to be alive and was sighing despite being badly injured. One man said “(rant) leave him” and one replied “I don’t want (rant) leave him”. A soldier (whose face cannot be seen in the video) then shot him several times until he stopped moving.
The video then shows another soldier reacting.
All the corpses on the ground were wearing military uniforms and there were pools of blood.
You can only see one person’s face – the faces of the other three are facing downwards.
Where and when was the video recorded?
The BBC found the incident took place on a highway outside the Dmytrivka area west of Kiev. The road connected Dmytrivka with Irpin and Bucha.
The crime scene shown in the video matches the scene in Google Street View in the area.
In a satellite photo of the same road taken on March 31, you can see what appear to be bloodstains on the ground and the armored vehicle featured in the video.
The BBC could not confirm what day the video was recorded, but it is known that the video was shot in the afternoon due to the shadow of the road.
The first version found of the video was uploaded on the morning of March 30, meaning it was recorded on March 29 afternoon or earlier.
How to make sure the soldiers who died were from Russia?
The main clues come from what is conveyed in the video.
One soldier standing near the bodies lying on the ground said: “Here they are, defenders of the Russian army.”
The video also features an armored vehicle with a V written on the side – which is a sign the Russian troops have written on their vehicles.
The two people lying on the ground wore white bands around their arms, which are used to identify Russian soldiers in some parts of Ukraine. Red and orange ribbons are also used. There are also reports that civilians were asked to wear bands around their arms in some areas.
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Is it true that the Ukrainian army was involved in the shooting?
On the military uniforms of some soldiers, the BBC could see the blue ribbon and patch of the Ukrainian flag, which is a distinctive sign for Ukrainian troops.
From what the BBC hears in the video, the soldiers speak Russian, which is widely spoken in Ukraine.
In half the duration of the video, one of the soldiers’ faces – a bearded man – can be clearly seen. Several other soldiers’ faces are clearly visible at several points in the video.
The BBC is trying to match these faces biometrically – a process in which a computer algorithm compares a photo with a large number of photos of people’s faces. The face matched a Georgian man with close ties to Ukraine, but the BBC could not name him because it had not confirmed the man’s identity.
As the camera panned the bearded man’s face, another shouted “Victory for Ukraine”, to which the bearded man replied “Victory for the heroes”. The first person then shouted with joy – although the audio was not clear – which sounded like the word “Gruziny” which means Georgia in Russian.
The audio ends with a man saying: “Don’t (abusive language) come to our land.”
The BBC also said it had contacted Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense for comment, but had not yet received a response. [pan]
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