Russia US envoy warns Kiev against murdering civilians, torturing POWs
The Russian ambassador to the United States warns the West against further armament of Ukraine and warns Ukraine against murdering civilians and torturing Russian prisoners of war.
Russia will not tolerate Ukrainian troops killing civilians or torturing Russian prisoners of war, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said Saturday following the publication of videos showing Ukrainian soldiers killing prisoners of war, some of them tied up, as they were lying face down on the pavement, which marked one of many crimes committed by Kiev's forces.
"A video posted online on Monday and verified by The New York Times appears to show a group of Ukrainian soldiers killing captured Russian troops outside a village west of Kyiv," the New York Times said on Thursday.
The bodies nearby looked like they had been killed after they were imprisoned by Ukrainians. One of the soldiers had a head wound that could be clearly seen, and his hands were tied behind his back as he was lying face down on the pavement.
There were bloodstains near each soldiers' head, and if it is what it seems to be - the killing of prisoners of war - then this constitutes yet another flagrant war crime committed by Kiev's forces.
"There is an obvious need for the US and their allies to urge Ukraine to respect international humanitarian law. We will never tolerate the shooting of civilians as well as the killing and torturing of captured Russian soldiers," he told a virtual conference held by a German think tank, the Schiller Institute.
Nationalists also faced accusations from Moscow of holding hostages in a maternity hospital in Mariupol, which would not be the first crime committed by the notorious far-right neo-Nazi group, as they opened fire on civilians during their evacuation from the city, killing at least two people and injuring four others.
Moscow reiterates demilitarization objective
Antonov also reiterated that the objective of the Russian military operation in Ukraine was to demilitarize it and ensure that it posed no threat to Russia.
"Today it is extremely important to achieve demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, to consolidate Ukraine’s nuclear-free status and its commitment to international agreements on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," he told the conference.
The top diplomat also underlined that there should be no threats to Russia coming from Ukrainian soil, explaining once again that this was Moscow's objective.
Stop arming Kiev
Antonov also warned that the influx of Western arms to the conflict zone in Ukraine was adding fuel to the fire.
"It is extremely important that Western countries stop adding fuel to the fire by pumping Kiev's regime with weapons," he said.
The United Kingdom was the latest Western country that announced sending more arms to Ukraine, namely Starstreak missiles, in a package worth some £150 million ($195 million).
This added to the package of billions of dollars of arms and military equipment sent to Kiev since the war began, not to mention the military training provided to Ukrainian soldiers.
The US government has provided Ukraine with $2.3 billion in security assistance since President Joe Biden took office last January, including thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems.
In parallel, the European Union has agreed to send $500 million worth of arms and equipment to Kiev, and Ukraine nonetheless still urged the West to boost its military capabilities.