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4 Mar, 2024 21:51

Pro-Kiev journalist shares video of Ukrainians ‘executing’ Russian soldiers

Julian Roepcke has posted a clip allegedly showing Ukrainian troops shooting wounded Russians
Pro-Kiev journalist shares video of Ukrainians ‘executing’ Russian soldiers

German reporter Julian Roepcke on Monday shared a video he claimed showed Ukrainian soldiers executing wounded Russians, only to face a torrent of abuse from Ukrainians online. 

Roepcke, a journalist for the German tabloid Bild, has for years been critical of Russia and features a Ukrainian flag in his X (formerly Twitter) handle. The 21-second video he shared, allegedly from an official source, showed two Ukrainian soldiers shooting prone Russian casualties at point-blank range. 

“Official Ukrainian army / 47th Mechanized Brigade video, showing the execution of two more injured Russian soldiers with headshots,” Roepcke wrote. “Is it only me or is this a normalization of entirely unacceptable behavior by a modern army?!”

He tried to temper his criticism of the Ukrainians by immediately posting another video, purporting to show how Russians “execute nine defenseless Ukrainian soldiers lying on the ground after they had already surrendered” near Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut.

“Anyone justifying the action above, will you also justify this?! I won’t. Both scenes are unacceptable,” Roepcke insisted.

Roepcke’s long history of sharing anti-Russian sentiments and claims, including siding with jihadist militants when Moscow intervened in the Syrian conflict almost a decade ago, did nothing to deter Ukrainian cheerleaders from smearing him as pro-Kremlin.

The source of the second video accused him of being “a Russian journalist who writes from time to time ‘pro-Ukrainian posts’.”

Most of the replies claimed the two men were “already dead,” having been hit by a drone attack. One self-described member of NAFO, a pro-Ukrainian troll army, claimed it is “not execution if it’s close combat risk avoidance.” 

The German journalist responded to the insults by sharing a screenshot of one of them. “Some months or years ago, I would have argued with people like this. Don’t do this anymore. Sadly, another day, where people are ruled by ideology, not rationality. Very sad,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the incident depicted in the video Roepcke shared. If confirmed, it would not be the first footage of Ukrainian war crimes. The most notorious video was shared in November 2022 by Ukrainian militants themselves, showing them torturing and executing a group of Russian soldiers who surrendered.