The Ukrainian security services (SBU) confirmed this Sunday the identity of the soldier who appears in a video that went viral, and in which he is seen being executed in cold blood, after various official sources revealed different names.
“The SBU investigators verified that the Ukrainian soldier who was executed (…) was the elite sniper of the 163rd battalion of the 119th territorial defense brigade from the Chernihiv region, Oleksander Igorovich Matsievskythe researchers said in a statement.
The 12-second video shows a man in military uniform, unarmed and smoking. Another man, off camera, says in Russian, apparently speaking to a comrade: “Film it.”
“Glory to Ukraine!”, replies the Ukrainian and immediately dies from bursts of shots. The man behind the camera then says: “Die, bastard.”
The SBU announcement comes days after various official sources in the Ukrainian military gave different identities, including that of Oleksander Matsievski, causing confusion.
According to the regional department of the “North” section of the Ukrainian armed forces, Oleksander Matsievski, “born on May 10, 1980 in Moldova”, he was seized by the russians when he was with four other ukrainian soldiers in the eastern Donetsk region.
In recent days, the mother of the deceased spoke in a television report, where she confirmed her identity.
SBU investigators say they are certain of Oleksander Matsievski’s identity “after investigation”, interviews with “close associates of the deceased”, as well as “analysis of photos and videos” and “conclusions of forensic examination”.
In his daily speech, the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenskyextolled this Sunday night “the courage” of that soldier.
“Today I awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to Oleksander Matsievski, a soldier, a person that all Ukrainians will come to know well. To a person we will always remember”, declared the head of state with a solemn tone.
“Ghastly video of an unarmed Ukrainian prisoner of war executed by Russian forces simply for saying ‘Glory to Ukraine’. Another proof that this war is genocidal”, condemned the Ukrainian Foreign Minister last week, Dmytro Kuleba.
“It is imperative that (prosecutor) Karim Khan launch an immediate investigation by the International Criminal Court into this heinous war crime. The perpetrators must face justice,” said the foreign minister.
Ukraine seeks to create a special court to try the Russian leadership.
The ICC launched its own investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukrainethanks to the fact that kyiv accepted its jurisdiction, although neither Ukraine nor Russia are members of the court, created in 2002.
Under a change in the Rome Statute, which determines the functioning of the court, it can prosecute the crime of aggression since 2018, but not in the case of non-member countries, such as Russia.
For its part, the European Commission plans to set up the International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression (ICPA), which seeks to preserve the evidence and prepare its analysis for a possible trial of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, for next summer. , while judicial coordination with the United States is expanded.
With information from AFP
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