- Peter Reed, a volunteer medic, was treating an injured Ukrainian woman on Feb. 2
- The missile’s ‘low, flat trajectory’ and relatively slow speed indicate it was laser-guided
- Attacks on medical personnel are prohibited under Rule 25 of Geneva Convention
It has been almost a year since Russia’s war in Ukraine began and it has claimed thousands of innocent lives so far, including those of volunteers from other countries. Read also : Georgian Court Rejects Appeal To Release Ex-leader Saakashvili On Health Grounds. One such volunteer from the United States, a medic identified as Peter Reed, was killed by a low-flying missile in Bakhmut.
The incident reportedly occurred on Feb. 2 in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukrainian when Reed was working with Global Outreach Doctors. The footage that captures his killing is just a second long but quite telling. That along with accounts from first-hand witnesses indicate that the attack on the group of international medics was intentional.
“They were hunting us down,” said Erko Laidinen, a 35-year-old volunteer from Estonia working with Frontline Medics, as reported by ABC News. It was his camera that captured the missile attack on the ambulance Reed was with.
The 35-year-old along with his team of medics arrived at the scene to treat a Ukrainian woman injured by shelling but found that she was already being treated by Reed’s team.
Laidinen was still inside his ambulance van which was marked with medical-style crosses and parked at a distance from where the woman was being treated when he turned on his camera and, within seconds, captured a missile hitting Reed’s ambulance.
The video clearly shows Reed standing by his ambulance with his teammates along with the woman they were treating. All of them were killed by a low-flying missile, according to ABC News.
Laidinen said his teammates were seriously injured in the attack as well, adding that the Russians repeatedly targeted the international medics after the first missile struck. He exited the vehicle and took cover in a nearby building.
The camera had fallen to the ground but managed to record multiple explosions which he believes were from incoming Russian mortars.
The footage of Reed being attacked and a second missile was recorded by Laidinen’s dash cam. He handed over the clips to the concerned authorities.
“It wasn’t just some random artillery doubletap – they were being tracked,” Reed’s wife, Alex Kay Potter told CNN. “They were very much targeted.”
Retired colonel Steve Ganyard said the “low, flat trajectory” of the missile and its speed, which was slow enough to be captured on video, suggests it was an anti-tank guided missile, as per ABC News.
Laidinen seconded Granyard’s claims. “It is laser-guided. There is nothing to debate,” he said, adding it was obvious that a team of medics would be on the ground to treat the injured.
“They waited for us. They knew we were coming, that we were responding,” Laidinen told the outlet. “It was a trap.”
Attacks on medical personnel are prohibited under Rule 25 of the Geneva Convention which states that “medical personnel exclusively assigned to medical duties must be respected and protected in all circumstances.”