A group of Russian soldiers approach a dealership and search the owner. Later, the security guard of the establishment arrives and is also frisked. They talk, the soldiers turn around, and the two Ukrainian men also walk away. But then two of the Russian soldiers start shooting: the two civilians are immediately struck down.
The American chain CNN published this Thursday a video obtained by the surveillance camera of a business on the outskirts of kyiv that shows how several Russian soldiers shoot two unarmed Ukrainian civilians.
The chain assures that the video to which it has had access is part of the investigation of the alleged war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine that is currently being processed by the prosecution of this country.
Both civilians died after a firefight that could violate the conventions of war that prohibit attacking civilians.
One of the victims was the owner of a car dealership that was looted, whose family did not provide his name, and the second was named Leonid Oleksiyovych Plyats, 68, and worked as a security guard for the business.
The incident occurred on March 16 and is not part of the attacks by Russian troops that, on those dates, devastated the towns around the Ukrainian capital.
The footage shows five Russian soldiers trying to break into businesses in the area, shooting locks and breaking windows. When the owner of the dealership approaches with his hands up, they detain him and appear to search him for weapons. There appears to be some conversation before the soldiers turn around and the two civilians start walking back to their posts. Soon after, however, at least two of the soldiers appear behind the men and open fire. The two Ukrainian men fall to the ground.
The Russian soldiers, as shown in the video, walk away from the bodies of the men they have just shot, leaving them lying on the ground.
Sources from the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office assured that the incident is being investigated as a war crime after seeing the video obtained by CNN.
In addition to the murder, the video shows, according to the chain, the unprofessional behavior of the group of five soldiers, identified as members of the invading force by their uniforms, after analyzing who controlled that area at the time of the event and the statements of witnesses.
Plyats’ daughter, Yulia, said she can’t bear to watch the video from the day her father died, but is saving it to one day show her children. “They are executioners,” she told CNN. “It’s horrible because my father was a civilian, he was 68 years old, a peaceful and unarmed man.”
Apparently, while the soldiers looted the shops, Plyats was still alive. The video shows him struggling to his feet, tying what looks like a tourniquet around his thigh, and limping back to his guard post. There, he gets a phone to call for help. He finally passed away.
The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office and various NGOs and international organizations are carrying out an extensive investigation to try to find out if war crimes and even acts of genocide have been committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.
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