Video appears to show Ukrainian soldiers shooting Russian prisoner of war

BBC confirms location west of Kyiv and says satellite images show bodies on the ground

Soldiers fighting for Ukraine appear to shoot a Russian prisoner of war outside a village west of Kyiv in a video posted online. The footage was originally shared on social media app Telegram. The New York Times said it had verified the video and the BBC said it had confirmed the location north of the town of Dmytrivka and found satellite images showing bodies on the ground.

In the video, at least three men in camouflage, including one with a head wound and his hands tied behind his back, can be seen lying dead next to a fourth man who is breathing heavily with a jacket covering his head. “He’s still alive. Film these marauders. Look, he’s still alive. He’s gasping,” a man in the video can be heard saying in Russian – a language widely spoken in Ukraine.

A soldier then shoots him in the head twice. He continues to move, so the soldier shoots again, and he stops. A soldier can then be heard shouting: “Glory to Ukraine.” A man responds with the phrase: “Glory to heroes.” The audio ends with a man saying: “Do not [expletive] come to our land.”

White armbands

The living soldiers in the video are wearing the Ukrainian colours of blue and yellow on their arms, while the men on the floor wear white armbands, the colour of Russian troops. A few metres away from the bodies is a BMD-2 infantry fighting vehicle which is used by the Russian airborne unit.


BBC investigators attempted to biometrically match the face of one of the men in the video, who can be seen facing the camera with a distinctive beard. They found a match to a Georgian man with close links to Ukraine, but are yet to confirm his identity. The broadcaster believes the word “Gruziny” – which means Georgians in Russian – can also be heard.

Scenes in the video match the scenery on Google Street View of the main road outside Dmytrivka, which is about seven miles southwest of Bucha with roads to Irpin.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Thursday he was aware of the video and it would “definitely be investigated”.

War crime

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said he had not seen the video, but stated: “I will say that every report on potential violations of international law should be followed or looked into, and of course, any violation of international law and any war crime is always unacceptable.”

A war crime is defined by the United Nations as a serious breach of international law committed against civilians or enemy forces during an armed conflict. The video emerges days after the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, accused the Russian military of undertaking the worst war crimes since the second World War after the discovery of mass civilian graves in Bucha, a city 15 miles north of Kyiv. – Guardian