Russia may refuse that it is committing war crimes in Ukraine. Russia even refuses to admit that its invasion of Ukraine is a war, preferring to call it a special military operation. But Russian soldiers cannot help themselves from using stolen smartphones to film acts of looting they perpetrate. They cannot even stop themselves from boasting about how they desecrate the bodies of their fallen enemies.
Igor Mangushev (real name: Reimer), a Russian mercenary, was recorded during a rally holding a human skull. Mangushev claims that the cranium belonged to one of the defenders of Azovstal.
“He wasn’t lucky,” said Mangushev, and further taunted the deceased, by saying. “We’ll make a goblet out of his skull.”
What follows is a rambling monologue about how Russia, which is fighting to reclaim its rightful lands, is not fighting men of flesh and blood but an idea. By some Kremlinesque leap in logic, that leads Mangushev to proclaim, that therefore all Ukrainians must be killed.
“There can be no peace. We must de-Ukrainise Ukraine,” he says.
Dmytro Lubinets, the recently appointed Ukraine’s Ombudsman and Commissioner for Human Rights reacted to the video in a Telegram post.
“That Russian Federation is breaking international law in respect to the living is no secret, but it is also going on in respect to the dead,” wrote Lubinets, adding that “through their propagandists, Russian continue the dehumanisation of Ukrainians, justifying mass killings.”
“Displaying ‘remains’ of the fallen defenders of Mariupol has become an excuse for ‘a stand-up act’. The only purpose of such actions by Russia is to cause additional suffering to the loved ones of the fallen,” stresses Ombudsman Lubinets.
As he explains, international law demands that the bodies of those killed in armed conflicts are treated with respect and in a way that will enable their identification. Mr Lubinets said that he has already notified the representative of the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine regarding the video, and will also report it to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
Desecration of human remains is not only a war crime under international law. It also violates at least one provision of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Article 244, which prohibits the desecration of dead bodies and burial places.
How should anyone in their sane mind believe the Kremlin’s refutations when accused of war crimes, when Russians who participate in the war in Ukraine themselves are incapable of not gleefully boasting about their own savagery? Admitting to acts that are criminal under the laws of Russia itself?
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE FOLLOWING IMAGES MAY BE CONSIDERED GRAPHIC AND UPSETTING TO SOME VIEWERS:
This is Igor Mangushev. A Russian soldier who went to war to commit genocide.
In the video, he himself admits this. He says that the main goal of the war is to kill everyone who considers himself Ukrainian.
Mangushev holds a human skull in his hands. pic.twitter.com/LhUwqvo7tH
— Serhii Sternenko (@sternenko) August 28, 2022
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