Six captured Ukrainian soldiers reportedly executed by Russian forces near Avdiivka

Russian forces have reportedly executed six captured Ukrainian service members near "Garage No. 1" area in Avdiivka (within the fortified area "Zenit" in the south of the settlement), according to the Telegram channel DeepState (a Ukrainian project that supports a regularly updated map of territorial control in the combat zone in Ukraine and publishes summaries of the front-line situation based on open sources and information from the Ukrainian military).

A video clip on was published on social media by one of the Russian military correspondents' channels, with images matching DeepState's description of the event: six individuals are seen lying in pools of blood, with no weapons visible around them, and one of the deceased holding a plastic bottle. This video suggests that a war crime may have been committed.

DeepState reports that Garage No. 1 is located on the premises of a former air defense military unit. Due to the positions being surrounded for several days, leading to the depletion of ammunition and water for the Ukrainian forces, everyone who was there since February 14 had to break through to the main Russian forces. Six Ukrainian service members, five of whom were injured, failed to break out from the encirclement.

On February 14, Ukrainian forces made two attempts to break the encirclement. The first attempt occurred on the night of February 14, with a group of ten Ukrainian soldiers trying to escape. Only three returned from this effort, all wounded, and other servicemen were injured during the evacuation of one of them. Another attempt was made the next day; many of those attempting to escape were killed or wounded in "zero visibility" conditions, leading to the abandonment of those who had been injured previously.

DeepState goes on to state that the injured were promised evacuation, scheduled to arrive on February 15. One surviving fighter stayed with them. Another, nicknamed Panda, wrote "I don’t give a **** what happens to me, I feel sorry for the guys," before he died. By the following day, approximately at noon, Russian troops had approached their position, and by February 16, Russian pro-military channels posted footage of the executed fighters.

The Ukrainian soldiers were likely shot on February 15, DeepState notes. One managed to write "no bread, no ****, and just half a bottle of water left" before dying. In the video with the bodies, the soldier is still seen gripping this bottle after death. "A series of mistakes and delays in decisive action led to this tragedy. And the enemy has once again proved that they disregard all rules of war," concludes DeepState.

  War in Ukraine, Avdiivka, Russia