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'Kill-Crazy' Foreign Mercs in Ukraine Bragged About Murdering Russian PoWs - Report

CC0 / U.S. Army Europe Images / Alleged US mercenaries were seen in a night club in the city of Mariupol under Kiev's control, a Donetsk People's Republic military official said
Alleged US mercenaries were seen in a night club in the city of Mariupol under Kiev's control, a Donetsk People's Republic military official said - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.07.2024
A US media outlet's report has claimed to shed light on atrocities committed by foreign hirelings dubbed by the West as so-called “volunteer soldiers” fighting in the proxy war in Ukraine.
Foreign mercenaries fighting on the side of the Kiev regime reveled in executing Russian prisoners, the New York Times has reported.
The atrocious killings are believed to have been carried out by members of the so-called "Chosen company." One incident in August 2023 was described to the outlet by a witness, the unit’s medic, a German called Caspar Grosse.
Grosse explained that a wounded and unarmed Russian soldier seeking medical help from his foreign captors was shot in cold blood. First one mercenary shot the Russian in the torso, and then, as he slumped still breathing, another soldier “just shot him in the head,” Grosse recalled.
According to several accounts, video footage and text messages exchanged by members of the unit and reviewed by the outlet, such “unwarranted killings” continued.
In another episode, a Chosen company fighter “threw a grenade at a surrendering Russian soldier who had raised his hands, killing him,” the outlet stated, referencing reviewed drone footage. It was added that the Ukrainian military published a video of this episode, but edited out the surrender moment.
Militants from the company of foreign hirelings and thrill-seekers reportedly talked freely about the murders of prisoners of war in group chats. In a third episode, revealed by such messages, a soldier in command in October 2023 told the fighters he would take personal responsibility if “anything comes out” about the killings.
At the center of all these three incidents was reportedly a Greek mercenary with the callsign Zeus. He shot a wounded Russian in the trench, tossed the grenade at a prisoner, and bragged “a thousand times” about killing the surrendering Russian, claimed Grosse.
Benjamin Reed, a former American member of the unit, claimed that he “heard, to such a large degree, innumerable conversations, about the executions of PoWs on various operations.” Furthermore, the unit’s recruiter told him that it “was OK to kill PoWs if they didn’t surrender in the strictest Geneva Convention standards.” Reed posted a video on TikTok, calling his former comrades “kill-crazy cowboys, nothing more.”
In interviews, Grosse is said to have recounted details that other Chosen members corroborated.

The Geneva Convention states that prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention.

Ryan O’Leary, the American who claims to be the de facto commander of Chosen company, denied to the outlet that his fighters had committed war crimes. However, after being contacted by The Times, O’Leary reportedly vowed in a group chat to “cast a wide net” to “snare the rabbit” who had been speaking to journalists.
Any footage showing the killing of a surrendering soldier should have triggered an investigation in the US, underscored the publication.
As for the so-called "Chosen company," the report described it as a motley band of “deserters, thrill seekers and aging soldiers.” Formerly the 312th Volunteer Company, it was reportedly reorganized in 2023, changing its name and becoming attached to Ukraine’s 59th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, said the report.
Since the launch of the Russian military operation in February 2022, "a total of 11,675 foreign mercenaries from 84 countries officially arrived in Ukraine to participate in hostilities on the side of the Ukraine Armed Forces," according to data provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD). Some have been eliminated while others fled the country. Around 3,100 mercenaries continue to fight for the Kiev regime, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin said in April. Moscow has stressed that regardless of their status, military officials or mercenaries “represent a legitimate target for our armed forces."
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