The American Institute for War Studies, citing pro-Kremlin media, reported that the Russians would send a battalion composed of Ukrainian prisoners of war to the front in Ukraine. At the same time, the institute emphasized that this was a violation of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits the use of prisoners of war to fight on the side of the army that took them prisoner.
The American think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), in a daily summary of the most important events related to war in Ukrainereported – citing the pro-Kremlin agency RIA Novosti – that “Ukrainian soldiers from the Bohdan Khmelnytsky battalion – the first unit consisting of former prisoners of war – have taken an oath of allegiance to Russia and will soon be sent to Ukraine.”
“RIA Novosti reported that the battalion is part of the ‘Kaskad’ formation of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, which suggests that Ukrainian prisoners of war will be sent to the border area of the two oblasts of Donetsk and Zaporozhye, where – according to reports – ‘Kaskad’ is currently active” – explains ISW.
“Russian sources report that the Russian command will treat prisoners of war in the same way as other soldiers and will receive comparable pay and other benefits. As ISW previously reported, Russian state media maintains that the Russians have ‘recruited’ about 70 Ukrainian prisoners of war from various colonies criminal penalties to the Bohdan Chmielnicki battalion,” we read in Tuesday’s ISW summary.
The Institute noted that such actions are a clear violation of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War. “The Geneva Convention relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War prohibits the use of prisoners of war in hostilities on the part of the army which has taken them prisoner, clearly stating that: ‘No prisoner of war shall ever be sent to or detained in districts where he would be exposed to shelling from a combat zone’ and ‘no prisoner of war may be employed in work harmful to health or dangerous’,” the organization reminds.
ISW: Ukrainian forces transferred a number of vehicles to the left bank of the Dnieper
Also in Tuesday’s summary of events related to the war in Ukraine, ISW reported that in the Kherson Oblast, Ukrainian forces have transported a number of armored vehicles to the eastern bank of the Dnieper and are conducting a ground operation there with battalion-sized forces. American analysts provided this information based on reports by pro-Kremlin war bloggers who discussed the photo from the Kherson area on Monday.
The photo discussed by Russian bloggers – as they claim – shows a Ukrainian amphibious vehicle transporting an infantry fighting vehicle to the left bank of the Dnieper near the town of Krynky, located about 30 km from Kherson.
“Other bloggers reported on November 7 that a Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicle had independently crossed the Dnieper near Krynka and published additional footage that allegedly showed a destroyed Western amphibious vehicle abandoned in an unspecified place on the eastern bank of the Dnieper,” ISW reports.
ISW also reported reports by Russian bloggers that a group of approximately 300 Ukrainian soldiers, i.e. approximately the size of a battalion, is operating near Krynki. According to this information, fighting is taking place in the area of several towns located 12 km to 17 km east of Kherson. Nevertheless – adds ISW – bloggers do not claim that the attack attempts made by Ukrainians were greater than in previous days.
ISW: unsuccessful efforts of the Russians
ISW reminds that, according to previous assessments, Ukrainian forces attacked the left bank of the Dnieper on October 17-18 with company-sized forces. The fact that a battalion-sized grouping is being discussed suggests that Russian efforts to isolate the eastern bank of the river have not prevented Ukrainian forces from moving additional men and equipment to positions east of the Dnieper, analysts say. They state that they refrain from discussing the prospects for the activity of Ukrainian forces on the eastern bank of the Dnieper. The western part of the Kherson Oblast, located on the right (western) bank of the Dnieper, was recaptured by Ukrainian troops in November 2022. The lands on the left (eastern) side of the river are still under Russian occupation.
Main photo source: Russian Defense Ministry/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images