Ukraine’s Videos of Captured Russian Troops Could Violate Geneva Convention

Ukraine has paraded captured Russian troops before the media

Ukrainian authorities have been sharing videos of what they say are captured Russian soldiers calling their relatives and repenting for invading Ukraine, raising questions about possible violations of the Geneva Convention.

In one incident on March 4th, 10 Russian soldiers were lined up at a press conference in Kyiv and were told to give their names to the cameras. According to AFP, the press conference was organized by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service.

In other instances, what are purported to be Russian soldiers were filmed breaking down and crying as they spoke with family members by phone. The footage isn’t verified, and in some cases, it’s impossible to know if they’re really Russian soldiers. But the videos have prompted some human rights organizations to warn Ukraine about violations of the Geneva Convention.

Article 13 of the Geneva Convention reads: “Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a statement after the March 4th press conference. “Prisoners of war and detained civilians must be treated with dignity,” the ICRC said, adding that prisoners “are absolutely protected against ill-treatment and exposure to public curiosity including images circulating publicly on social media.”

On Monday, Amnesty International said prisoners of war in Ukraine must be protected from “public curiosity” under the Geneva Convention. “As the conflict continues, it is essential that all parties to the conflict fully respect the rights of prisoners of war,” said Joanne Mariner, the director of Amnesty International’s crisis response program.

“Any public appearances can put prisoners of war at risk when they are returned to their home country, and also prove problematic for their families whilst they are detained,” Mariner added.

Ukraine’s military command has said that 200 Russian prisoners of war have been captured since the invasion started on February 24th, but the number is not confirmed.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.