Captured Russian soldiers have accused their commanders of killing their own wounded troops rather than recovering them from the battlefield and sending them for treatment.
When the badly injured soldier replied that he could not, the high-ranking officer reportedly shot him – as well as several others — dead.
Another soldier told Zolkin, who has reported about Russian prisoners for Open Media Ukraine, that officers have “finished off their wounded.”
When the journalist asked him to elaborate, the soldier answered: “Just like that … a wounded soldier is lying on the ground, and a battalion commander shoots him dead from a gun,” according to the outlet.
“It was a young man, he was wounded,” he added. “He was on the ground. He was asked if he could walk, so he was shot dead with a gun.”
Another captive said the lieutenant colonel “shot four or five like this.”
A third told Zolkin that their wounded comrades “could have been rescued, given help, taken out of there. He simply shot them dead.”
It was unclear from the video where the alleged atrocity took place, where the soldiers being interviewed had been captured and what unit they belonged to.
Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, reportedly told Ostorozhno Media that the Kremlin has “no information” about the dead and wounded troops in Ukraine.
He was also asked about reports on social media by loved ones who can’t get the bodies of the dead soldiers in Ukraine.
“The captives are in trouble too … What will we do with our dead and will we exchange captives?” the Kremlin mouthpiece was asked.
“We do not have this information. It is with the Ministry of Defense,” Peskov replied, the news outlet said.
The allegations about Russian commanders killing their own soldiers follows a report that some demoralized troops have taken their own lives on the front line to avoid the conflict.
Andrey Ushakov, 20, claimed he knew two soldiers had committed suicide because they could no longer cope with the bungled invasion, which Russia launched on Feb. 24.
“Everyone was panicking and wanted to leave, but there was no way,” he told Zolkin recently. “The only option to go was as ‘300’ [wounded]. Some people couldn’t bear it, and shot themselves dead.”
“Cargo 300” is the Russian military’s designation for soldiers who are evacuated from a war zone after shooting themselves to cause severe injuries.
Several Russian soldiers have been shown on video sobbing as they apologized for killing Ukrainian civilians, including children — and admitted that the invasion was a “terrible mistake.”
Footage of captured Russian soldiers has raised questions about whether Ukraine has violated the Geneva Conventions, which provide POWs with protections.
According to Article 13: “Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity. Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.”
Meanwhile, Russian troops have allegedly dumped thousands of their war dead in heaps “as tall as a man” in a desperate bid to hide the true extent of their losses, according to an intercepted call released by Ukrainian authorities.
The Security Services of Ukraine said last week that the call caught an invading soldier telling his wife about “makeshift dumpsites” with “so many corpses that the mountains of them reach” more than 6 feet high.
Widespread reports have suggested crushing low morale among Russian troops amid the flailing campaign.