“Regardless of them being tried as criminals, they are protected by the Geneva Convention,” Krassimir Yankov, Amnesty International Researcher on Ukraine said of the two Russian Special Forces captured in Ukraine. Yankov spoke to Hromadske along with Tanya Mazur, Director of Amnesty International Ukraine.
Mazur confirmed that an Amnesty Internatonal media representative had visited the soldiers in hospital and the conditions were good. However she could not confirm whether they had been ill treated as she did not have the full picture.
The fact that journalists and the Ukrainian authorities showed the video of the captured soldiers was a violation of their personal dignity under the Geneva Convention, according to Yankov, albeit a “very mild violation”.
A recent Amnesty report published on 22 May,2015 on abuse of prisoners of war in the Ukraine conflict found that the though the majority of those captured on the separatists side are soldiers or volunteer fighters. Conversely the majority captured on the Ukrainian side are civilians or people assisting or supporting, said Yankov.
The report said that most of the abuse happens before those captured are sent to a designated place. On the Ukrainian side this tends to occur when soldiers or civilians are unlawfully detained by volunteer battalions, not under the control of the Ukrainian authorities. However they found 8 cases of Ukrainian soldiers who were executed in captivity.
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk and Ian Bateson spoke with Tanya Mazur and Krassimir Yankov on May 24, 2015.