The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian soldiers of executing more than 10 Russian prisoners of war following the circulation of a video on social media purporting to be from the frontline.
The footage appears to show a group of Russian soldiers emerging from an outbuilding in the grounds of a house with their hands above their heads before they are told to lie facedown.
One of the men wearing all black, however, seems to turn his gun on what appears to be a Ukrainian unit of soldiers wearing yellow armbands as he emerges from the half-destroyed outhouse.
The footage, seemingly taken by a Ukrainian soldier, suggests that all the Russians, including those in a prone position, were killed in the violence that followed. There are at least 12 bodies.
The incident was said to have taken place in the grounds of a house near the village of Makiivka in the eastern Luhansk region of Ukraine, which is part of a wider area known as the Donbas.
Neither the location nor the identity of those featuring in the video could be immediately independently verified.
Ukraine’s ministry of defence did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for Russia’s ministry of defence said: “This brutal murder of Russian servicemen is neither the first nor the only war crime.
“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 Russian defence ministry went on to claim that the footage showed “the deliberate and methodical murder of more than 10 immobilised Russian servicemen by degenerate Ukrainian soldiers”.
The spokesperson said the Ukrainian government would be held responsible for “every prisoner tortured and killed”.
The conflict in Ukraine that followed Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade the country on 24 February has seen both sides trade accusations of war crimes.
In response to previous allegations, Ukraine’s foreign ministry has said it will investigate any incidents, although none of the probes appear to have come to any conclusion.
The Kremlin has not made any such promise in relation to the host of allegations of the torture of combatants and civilians in Ukraine by its forces and the mercenaries fighting on Russia’s behalf.
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.