CCTV Video Shows Russian Soldiers Shoot, Kill Unarmed Civilians

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Ukrainian soldiers told AFP the two sides are so close they can see Russians digging at their positions if they use binoculars
Ukrainian soldiers told AFP the two sides are so close they can see Russians digging at their positions if they use binoculars

Russian soldiers were caught on camera shooting two unarmed civilians in Ukraine in what is now being investigated by Ukrainian prosecutors as a war crime. 

The video, which was captured by a CCTV camera on March 16, showed five Russian soldiers arriving at a bicycle shop located on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. The soldiers, who were driving a stolen van marked with a V sign, were approached by the owner of the shop, whose identity was not revealed. His security guard, 68-year-old Leonid Pliats, also approached the soldiers. His hands were raised to indicate that he was unarmed. 

It was not immediately clear what the owner, Pliats and the Russians talked about as the footage had no audio. However, the men appeared calm and even shared a smoke. The security guard was later seen turning around to walk back into the building and the soldiers started to leave.

However, two soldiers returned to the shop, crouched and then fired at Pliats and his boss while they were turned around. Pliats’ boss was immediately killed in the incident. The 68-year-old managed to stagger to his feet and stumble to his cabin, where he immediately called for help.  

In an interview with BBC News, Vasyl Podlevskyi, Pliats’ friend, said they spoke twice on the day of the incident. The 68-year-old told his friend that the Russian soldiers claimed they do not kill civilians moments before they opened fire. Pliats died later that day. 

A top prosecutor in Ukraine told CNN that they were already investigating the incident as a war crime. The publication also said it requested a comment from Russia’s Defense Ministry but has so far received no response. 

In addition to killing the two civilians, the group of Russian soldiers were also seen entering the shop, removing their body armor and rummaging through the drawers and desks. One soldier was seen donning a bobble hat he got from a shelf inside the shop. Two other soldiers were seen getting drinks and toasting each other. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to many civilian casualties. As of Wednesday, a total of 3,541 Ukrainian civilians had been killed in the war, including 3,302 adults and 239 children, according to an estimate from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner.  


Ukrainian soldiers have launched a counter-offensive against Russian invasion forces in the east of the country
Ukrainian soldiers have launched a counter-offensive against Russian invasion forces in the east of the country
Photo: AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA

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