The European Union condemns in the strongest terms “the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces and their proxies,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in a statement published on European External Action Service website on Friday, July 29th.
“These inhuman, barbaric acts are grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocol and are war crimes,” the statement said.
The head of European diplomacy cited as an example shelling of a building with Ukrainian prisoners of war in Yelenovka, committed on July 29, as well as a video distributed by pro-Kremlin media, in which “Russian soldiers commit heinous atrocities against a Ukrainian prisoner of war.” Borrell noted that “Russia’s illegal and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine and its people is leading day by day to new terrible atrocities.”
The diplomat recalled Russia’s obligation to ensure the protection of prisoners of war within the framework of international humanitarian law, and this also applies to the servicemen killed in Yelenovka, among whom were defenders of Azovstal who surrendered and were registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
According to Borrell, “the perpetrators of war crimes and other serious violations, as well as responsible government officials and military representatives, will be held accountable” because these “barbaric acts constitute serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and amount to war crimes.”
Torture video spread by pro-Kremlin channels
A video in which two men in camouflage uniforms hold a man in Ukrainian uniforms on the ground and torture him with a clerical knife circulated on social networks at the end of July. At the moment, it is not known who and when the video was filmed, but on July 29, the second part of the video appeared in pro-Russian Telegram channels. In it, a tortured man is shot in the head. Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine reported on an investigation into a possible documented case of torture.
On the same day, in the village of Yelenovka, Volnovakhsky district, Donetsk region, a building of a correctional colony was fired upon, in which captured Ukrainian servicemen were placed. Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling. The Ukrainian side stated that the Russian military killed the prisoners in order to hide the fact of their ill-treatment.