Russian soldiers seen shooting Ukrainian civilians dead in chilling CCTV footage

·2-min read
The footage showed two Russian soldiers firing at their victims - BBC
The footage showed two Russian soldiers firing at their victims - BBC

Russian soldiers have been caught on CCTV shooting two unarmed Ukrainian civilians dead.

In the security camera footage, broadcast by the BBC and CNN, five soldiers drive up to a large bicycle shop on a motorway leading to Kyiv near the start of the invasion.

They have graffitied a stolen white van with the Z insignia of the invading Russian army and sprayed "Russian Tank Special Forces" on its side.

They are armed with rifles and start to smash the shop windows before the two Ukrainian men – Leonid Plyats, 65, and the unnamed owner of the shop – arrive.

In the footage, Plyats and his boss at first seem to diffuse the situation. They strike up a conversation with the Russian soldiers and share cigarettes. The soldiers frisk the Ukrainians to make sure they are unarmed.

The Russian soldiers turn and walk away, before Plyats and his boss do the same. At that moment, two of the soldiers exchange words, turn around and run back towards the gate. They lift their rifles to their shoulders, take aim and fire.

Both Ukrainian men tumble to the floor. The boss of the business is dead but Plyats, after the Russian soldiers break into the shop to start a looting spree, gets up and staggers back to his cabin, where he dies.

Leonid Plyats, 65, managed to reach his cabin after the shooting, where he died - BBC
Leonid Plyats, 65, managed to reach his cabin after the shooting, where he died - BBC

Video footage shows the soldiers casually wandering around the offices of the bicycle shop, swigging from bottles.

After the Russian army retreated from Kyiv's suburbs at the end of March, Ukrainian soldiers found the bodies of hundreds of civilians.

Hundreds of women and girls have also accused Russian soldiers of rape. Looting and destruction of private property were rampant.

Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine's prosecutor-general, has said that 10,700 war crimes have been recorded and the first prosecution of a captured Russian soldier accused of murdering a Ukrainian civilian has been launched.

But it is likely the murderers of Plyat and his boss will never be caught because they will already have escaped back to Russia.

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