Russia's Medvedev: Ukrainians deserve death penalty for execution of POWs

A video circulated on Russian social media which was said to show the execution of Russian prisoners of war.

 Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev attends a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022. (photo credit: SPUTNIK/EKATERINA SHTUKINA/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev attends a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022.
(photo credit: SPUTNIK/EKATERINA SHTUKINA/POOL VIA REUTERS)

The Ukrainian soldiers who were reportedly shown executing Russian prisoners of war (POWs) should suffer "pure punishment" in the form of a death penalty, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said Friday evening.

"Many years ago, I was taught criminal law at university...they said criminal punishment consists of two elements: Correction and reeducation of criminals and punishment," Medvedev wrote in his Telegram group. "Death is the only pure punishment, for obvious reasons."

Medvedev continued, saying the "Ukrainian bastards who shot Russian servicemen should not receive any other punishment than a pure punishment. Even if it takes years to find them."

Earlier on Friday, Russia's defense ministry claimed Ukraine had executed more than 10 Russian POWs, accusing Kyiv of carrying out war crimes that Moscow said the West ignores.

 Service members of pro-Russian troops walk across a road before the expected departure of Ukrainian soldiers, who surrendered at the besieged Azovstal steel mill, in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine May 19, 2022. (credit: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters) Service members of pro-Russian troops walk across a road before the expected departure of Ukrainian soldiers, who surrendered at the besieged Azovstal steel mill, in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine May 19, 2022. (credit: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The ministry cited a video circulating on Russian social media which it said showed the execution of Russian prisoners of war. The video or the defense ministry's claim could not be immediately verified. "This brutal murder of Russian servicemen is neither the first nor the only war crime," the defense ministry said.

"This is common practice in the Armed Forces of Ukraine that is actively supported by the Kyiv regime and blatantly ignored by its western patrons."

The video shows what appear to be Russian soldiers lying down on the ground in Makiyivka, eastern Ukraine, after surrendering. Then gunfire rings out and the video shows the bodies.

Russia claims Ukraine's 'regime' has 'atrocious nature'

Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of war crimes, claims that Russia has denied.

The Russian defense ministry said the video showed "the deliberate and methodical murder of more than 10 immobilized Russian servicemen by degenerate Ukrainian soldiers."

The defense ministry said the video was a sign of the "atrocious nature" of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his "regime" in Kyiv and said he would "answer before the court of history and the people of Russia and Ukraine."

There was no immediate response from Kyiv to Moscow's claims.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.