The United States has “credible information” about Russian forces killing individuals who were surrendering in Ukraine, a senior United Nations Ambassador said. The accusations would mean Russia violated “laws of war.”
Beth Van Schaack, Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice, said that civilians who were surrendering to the Russian forces in the Donetsk region were killed.
“We now have credible information that a Russian military unit operating in the vicinity of Donetsk executed Ukrainians who were attempting to surrender, rather than take them into custody”, Ambassador Schaack said, according to reports from CNN.
While citing international humanitarian laws, the Ambassador added, “If true, this would be a violation of a core principle of the laws of war: the prohibition against the summary execution of civilians and combatants who are hors de combat by virtue of surrender, injury, or other forms of incapacitation.”
The United Nations representative also called for accountability from those who were responsible for the mounting death toll in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which was launched on February 24, 2022.
“Our simple message to Russia’s military and political leadership, and the file is this: the world is watching, and you will be held accountable”, she said, according to reports from CNN.
Western countries supporting Ukraine, including the United States, have called for a series of investigations against Moscow for committing war crimes in the Ukraine invasion.
Similar calls were taken by other Western allies. Canadian lawmakers on Wednesday voted unanimously to call Russia’s attacks in Ukraine a “genocide”, with members of parliament saying there was “ample evidence of systemic and massive war crimes against humanity” being committed by Moscow.