Russia has been accused of committing countless war crimes in Ukraine. New footage from the BBC how shows even more brutality: Russian troops were caught on security footage shooting two Ukrainian civilians in the back, the BBC reported Thursday.
In CCTV video (please see below, and note, that the video is graphic) obtained by the BBC, a group of Russian soldiers can be seen approaching the gate of a building along a Kyiv highway. An unarmed Ukrainian security guard, identified by the BBC reporter Sarah Rainsford as Leonid Pliats, then approaches the gate, apparently striking up a conversation with the Russians and smoking cigarettes with them.
The video shows Russian troops then leaving the area, only for two of them to suddenly turn back and approach the gate again, while raising their guns. The BBC producer Tony Brown reported that the troops then shot Pliats and his boss “in their backs.”
The BBC reported that Pliats’ boss was immediately killed in the shooting but that Pliats was able to limp back to an office to hide and call for help.
Two Ukrainian volunteer firefighters eventually arrived and tried to save Pliats, but he died from his wounds, the BBC reported. The firefighters, identified as Sasha and Kostya, told the BBC that they had to wait out the Russians before they could reach Pliats.
In additional footage, the Russian troops can be seen inside the building shooting into rooms and looking through cupboards. One of the Russians can be seen helping himself to a drink in one of the offices — unaware that he’s being filmed until another notices the camera and hits it with the butt of his rifle.
The Russians were also seen on CCTV footage driving an apparently stolen van, painted with a “V” symbol — used by some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces — and “Russian Tank Special Forces.”
Pliats daughter, Yulia Androshchuk, told the BBC that her father “was not a military man at all.”
“They killed a 65-year-old. What for?” she said. “I’m not so much furious as full of grief — and fear. These damn Russians are so out of control, I’m afraid of what they might do next.”
The United Nations has said it is a war crime for troops to intentionally attack civilians during a war.
Since the early days of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the West have accused Putin’s forces of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
International organizations — including the European Union and International Criminal Court — have said they will investigate whether war crimes have been committed by Russian forces.
Ukrainian officials said they had documented thousands of war crimes and identified hundreds of suspects.
The exact number of Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian forces is unknown, though Zelenskyy previously estimated that there could be tens of thousands dead.
Jake Epstein is a Junior Breaking News Reporter on the Speed Desk, based in Boston.