In researching war crimes in Ukraine, I came across this disturbing report from Newsweek:
Groups of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists are committing war crimes in the rebel-held territories of Eastern Ukraine, according to a report from Amnesty International, as evidence emerged in local media of the volunteer militias beheading their victims.
Armed volunteers who refer to themselves as the Aidar battalion “have been involved in widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions”, Amnesty said.
The organisation has also published a report detailing similar alleged atrocities committed by pro-Russian militants, highlighting the brutality of the conflict which has claimed over 3,000 lives.
Amnesty’s statement came before images of what appeared to be the severed heads of two civilians’ started circulating on social media today, identified by Russian news channel NTV as the heads of rebel hostages.
Shortly after, Kiev-based news network Pravilnoe TV reported that it had spoken with one of the mothers of the victims who confirmed her son was a rebel, captured during fighting in Donetsk.
She said she had received her son’s head in a wooden box in the post, blaming nationalist volunteers for her son’s death. Newsweek has not been able to verify the report independently.
There are over 30 pro-nationalist, volunteer battalions similar to Aidar, such as Ukraina, DND Metinvest and Kiev 1, all funded by private investors.
Amnesty’s report, however, indicates Kiev’s loose regulation on volunteer groups and its “members… act with virtually no oversight or control”.
Meanwhile Norwegian channel TV2 presented footage yesterday of the Azov battalion flying flags with the symbols of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi party – Patriot of Ukraine.
The U.S. is also a very close ally of Saudi Arabia … which cuts off more heads than ISIS.
The Washington’s Blog