Russia to study video of alleged mistreatment of prisoners

Ukraine offical says video that appears to show Ukrainian forces mistreating captured Russian soldiers could not be taken at face value.

The Kremlin has said Russian investigators would look into a video circulated on social media that purported to show Ukrainian forces mistreating captured Russian soldiers.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Monday said the video contained “monstrous images” and needed to be legally assessed, and that those who took part in what he described as torture needed to be held responsible.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the video cited by the Kremlin.

Asked about the video during an interview on Sky News, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said it could not be taken at face value.

“We need proof,” she said on Monday. “If militaries from [the] Ukrainian side are guilty, we will investigate them and take them to court.”

Earlier, senior Ukrainian officials had portrayed the video as a fake.

“Currently, no one can confirm or deny the veracity of this video. It’s not known where it’s happening, or who the participants are,” military spokesperson Oleksander Motuzyanyk said.

He referred Reuters to comments made by Valery Zaluzhny, the chief commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, before Peskov announced the Russian investigation into the video.

“The enemy produces and shares videos, with the inhuman treatment of alleged ‘Russian prisoners’ by ‘Ukrainian soldiers’ in order to discredit the Ukrainian Defence Forces,” Zaluzhny said.

Ukraine’s armed forces respect international norms, Zaluzhny said, accusing Russia of producing such videos to discredit Ukrainian soldiers. He did not provide any evidence to support his accusation.

Sergii Nykyforov, press spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said the video must be assessed “in the context of both real and information wars”. He did not elaborate.

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