On March 6, Russian pilot Lieutenant Colonel Krishtop Maxim Sergeevich was shot down and apprehended as a prisoner of war in Ukraine, and on Friday, he spoke at a broadcast press conference.

Krishtop began by claiming that he had “asked the military services of Ukraine” to provide him with the opportunity to speak at a press conference in order to “stop this conflict as soon as possible.”

The unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, has been strongly condemned by world leaders, resulting in numerous and severe sanctions on the nation. The bombardment of Ukrainian cities and towns by Russian forces has led to a surge of refugees into European nations.

According to CBS News: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered the swiftest refugee displacement crisis in Europe since World War II, prompting more than 2.5 million people to flee the country during the conflict’s first two weeks.”

Krishtop continued, saying that prior to being taken into custody on March 6, he finished his third assignment, during which he realized it was a bombing of civilian homes. “I want to say sorry to all Ukrainian people for the genocide, and I will do my best to stop this war as soon as it’s possible,” he said — though he later added after being asked about the moment at which he understood he was attacking civilians that he “was weak,” and “fulfilled the assignment.”

Krishtop then asked Russian forces to “stop fulfill[ing] military crimes against the peaceful people of Ukraine.”

After being asked whether or not he was sincere in his statements, and not simply speaking under pressure of the Ukrainian government, Krishtop repeated his earlier remarks that he had requested to speak at a press conference, and that no pressure was required.

Following the press conference (and others like it), some have suggested that Ukraine is in violation of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention, which states in part that “prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.”

Amnesty International writes:

The authoritative commentary by the International Committee of the Red Cross specifies that “any materials that enable individual prisoners to be identified must normally be regarded as subjecting them to public curiosity and, therefore, may not be transmitted, published or broadcast.”

Friday’s presser with the POWs isn’t the first out of Ukraine. The Washington Post reports that another broadcast with different POWs was similar, and that it was “unclear” if the “comments were coerced or scripted.”

At the press conference to which The Washington Post was referring, the captives didn’t have notecards or papers in front of them, but at Friday’s presser, multiple pieces of paper can be seen on the table before the POWs.

Regarding what would happen to him in the future, Krishtop suggested that he would “probably answer during international court of justice [at] The Hague.”

Asked about the motivations of Russian forces, Krishtop said that he harbors no ideological motivation and no animus toward the Ukrainian people or the nation’s military. He also stated that he believes Putin’s “decisions about the military operation in Ukraine” are “wrong and criminal.”

“The consequences of that war will remain in the hearts of people for generations,” he said, adding, “I’m very sorry that all this happened.”

Krishtop said that he would like to see negotiations take place, which would be difficult, “but much better than [destroying] civilians [and] maternity hospitals.” The invasion of the capital city of Kyiv would lead to destruction, “huge losses of people from both sides,” and would have “terrible consequences the scale of which is hard to imagine,” he added.

Near the conclusion of the press conference, Krishtop noted that he and the other POWs were being taken care of by the Ukrainians.

Prior to the press conference on Wednesday, the Odessa area Ministry of Defense legal department head stated that Ukraine “strictly adheres to the rules and regulations of the Geneva Convention,” according to the Post.

Notable responses to the videos of Russian POWs include:

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