Zelensky’s office calls ICRC to intervene into Russian show trial of Mariupol Azovstal defenders

Adviser to the presidential office Mykhailo Podoliak called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to remember its purpose and intervene in the pseudo-trial of militants over prisoners of war. Mykhailo Podoliak reported this on Twitter.

“All prisoners of war, in particular the defenders of Azovstal, are combatants who legally defended their country. Therefore, the Mariupol cages are an official war crime by Russia. It’s time for the Red Cross and Peter Maurer [ICRC President – ed.] to finally remember their purpose and think about their reputation.”

Earlier, video circulating on social media showed Russian invasion forces assembling defendants’ cages on the stage of the Mariupol Philharmonic in order to arrange a show trial of Ukrainian prisoners of war. Russian media reported that Donetsk militants would start considering the “criminal case” of five foreign prisoners of war on 15 August.

Read also: Operational information on Russian invasion (August 15)

“It is a war crime to prosecute prisoners of war for carrying out their duties, yet Russia is planning to stage just such a grotesque ‘trial’ of the defenders of Mariupol whom it took prisoner in May 2022.  This shocking stunt is to be enacted at the Mariupol Philharmonic,  with the men held in cages.  In 2014, Russia, via its proxy ‘Donetsk republic’, deliberately staged a forced march of Ukrainian prisoners of war through occupied Donetsk, timing it to coincide with Ukraine’s Independence Day.  According to Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko, similar timing may well be planned for this new travesty,” Kharkiv Human Rights Group stated.