Ukrainian soldiers shooting Russian POWs. This is the headline that has shocked the world and left people with many questions. Last month, videos emerged of what appeared to be Ukrainian soldiers executing captured Russian soldiers. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation and finger-pointing as to who is responsible for these atrocious acts. The Ukrainian government has adamantly denied any involvement, while the Russian government has accused Kiev of war crimes. So far, the only thing that is known for sure is that somewhere.
The situation in Ukraine
Russia’s massive assault on an independent Ukraine menaces not only Eastern Europe, but the human effort, since World War II, to build global peace through the international rule of law. USIP provides analysis and support for policies that can help sustain the democracy, dialogue and diplomacy that will be required to ultimately defeat this threat.
World War II was a time of great conflict and hardship. One particularly dark aspect of the war was the way in which Russian prisoners of war were treated by the Nazis. In total, around three million Russians were captured by Nazi forces, and of those, more than two million died in captivity. This number accounts for more than half of all Russian casualties during the war. In addition to the horrific death toll, many prisoners were subjected to torture, starvation, and other atrocities. The conditions in concentration camps were so bad
Shooting of Russian POWs
The shooting of captured Russian POWs by the Japanese was an atrocity that happened early in World War II. It is estimated that around 2,000 prisoners were killed, mostly those who were too badly wounded to continue marching after the fall of Port Arthur. The massacre was ordered by Lieutenant General Nogi Matsusuke and sanctioned by Emperor Meiji himself. In order to try and justify the act, Nogi published a pamphlet in which he argued that it was better for the prisoners to die than to be taken prisoner by.
Ukrainian Soldiers Shooting Russian Pows
Human rights violations
Attacks by groups advocating discrimination against activists and marginalized minorities continued, often with complete impunity. Acts of intimidation and violence against journalists were regularly reported. Domestic violence remained widespread; access to support services was negatively affected by the strict COVID-19 measures.
In the early days of World War II, the Soviet Union was desperate for soldiers. So they started drafting anyone they could find, including men who had been captured by the Germans. In some cases, these prisoners of war were shot by the Soviet soldiers who were assigned to guard them.
This practice was officially sanctioned by the Soviet government. In an order issued on September 7, 1941, Stalin stated that all captured German soldiers were to be considered potential traitors and spies. As a result, any Soviet soldier who killed a prisoner of war would not be punished.
This policy led to the deaths
This is a really disturbing story. It’s shocking that these Ukrainian soldiers would shoot Russian prisoners of war. I can’t imagine what could have driven them to do something like that. I’m going to have to think long and hard about what this means for the future of the two countries. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.