Watch now (5 mins) | Applying the three part test
A piece like this is what confirms your credibility. While there may be bias, it doesn't prevent a person from giving an honest assessment of a situation. You are just demonstrated that.
Thank you. I am very proud to be a supporter.
A honest analysis, by acknowledging mistakes we improve as a military force.
That was brutal.
Guy was obviously pretty bad off. I'm going to want to think the guy looking at the big picture knew he was done for. Not going to get proper treatment. And this was a mercy kill.
I don't know if that would even stand up as a defence. But man, the disconnect of warfare turned video game is terrifying.
As you said, narrow focus. Was he isolated and beyond reasonable expectation of help? The Russians are notorious for abandoning their wounded so the odds are he would have lain there and suffered, dying eventually. But he was wounded, he wasn't hostile and while arguably capable of defending himself methinks he'd suck at it. Technically then finishing him off while definitely merciful is perhaps not lawful. Distressing viewing but props for making this video and you are so right about the operator. He or she will have to deal with this and while in this case I personally lean more toward mercy killing than intentional war crime, it is a slippery slope. Next time might not be so clear cut and the time after that and...
I'll respectfully disagree. A foreign invader--who is participating in destroying non-military structures, killing innocent civilians, and erasing the history and culture of his victims deserves no protection, should expect no mercy, and most assuredly should not be a poster boy for a "war crime."
I think there are two very different contexts at play here: 1) defensibility in a court of law and 2) desirable behavior for troops in a well-ordered military. I think there are enough variables for a lawyer to get a not guilty verdict here. Say, for example, this drone operator had spent all day helping infantry clear Russians out of defensive positions. I think the legal standard would be pretty low.
But as for training drone pilots, do we want them to get addicted to "blowing shit up," including human beings? No. There are indeed long-term negative consequences for drone pilots.
I would argue that the problem is more acute the further away from the action and the safer the pilot is. Drone pilots in Ukraine are very close to the action and can be targeted themselves. They don't go to Chili's after their shift is over; they are being hunted and targeted by the enemy. Many drone pilots in Ukraine are operating right next to infantry or are infantry themselves. So they exist in a tit-for-tat moral system.
Perhaps the real question is, what does it imply when a drone pilot publishes the footage of this kill? In truth, I'm not sure the pilot makes that decision. I assume video postings have to be cleared by some level of opsec custodian. My moral questioning would be directed at that person. Do you think this is an act that we should be proud of, even if it can be defended in court?
It didn't feel right to aim this comment at anyone in particular. But I wanted to address the often expressed sentiment that Russians deserve whatever they get. As Ryan said, "We need to be held to a higher standard." There are lots of good reasons for this, protection of our own soldiers' mental health, avoiding retaliatory war crimes, maintaining the moral high ground. But for me, personally, it's because my Lord told me it was good.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:43-44,46-48
I acknowledge it is easy for me to say this sitting in front of my computer. I know it is much harder to do. I do hate my enemies. I want Putin dead. I want him to suffer in hell, and he hasn't even killed any of my friends, so how much more must the person operating the drone feel?
But Peace must be the goal. The dying only stops with Peace. Peace could be achieved through killing every Russian, but that's a high cost to Ukraine. More likely, Peace will be achieved by removing the enemy's will to fight. Crimes like this enforce the will to fight and lead us further from the likely Peace. "We must be held to a higher standard."
Hard to watch. I wanted to see a weapon in his hand, but didn’t.
Exposing war crimes - hope you don't suffer same fate as Assange.
Tough piece of work, Ryan. Explain to the troops over and over that a wounded soldier requires care, resources, special handling. A dead soldier is of no immediate concern and ALL the remaining guns can go back to firing.
If anyone has ever doubted your ability to parse information without bias this video should put their doubts to rest.
Ask yourself this. Would you drop the grenade if you were invading another country on their land or would you drop it as a defender protecting your homeland on your land? I know the law doesn’t recognize a difference but I sure do. Thank you for the excellent perspective you give Ryan.
As much as I despise the Russian soldier and their collective ideals.... this was low down and dirty. The man was obviously heavily wounded. No threat at that particular moment. You can’t do this. This is going to be used to great affect inside Russia to create even more hatred towards Ukraine and those of us who are facilitating you fight against the Russians. WE hold ourselves to be better people than this. I have ZERO DOUBT if this continues to happen “accidentally” or otherwise; ALL THE MONEY AND WEAPONS to Ukraine will stop. Do Not fucking do it. Period.
Well staed Ryan Being a journalist requires that you investigate and report even things that clearly show negative parts of the Ukrainian war Even it makes Ukraine look bad, the truth is the truth! I am all for Ukraine to win, but it must be done to the rules of law that nations follow Thanks Ryan keep up the good work!
Well said, disturbing to watch.