The top prosecutor of Ukraine announced the opening of a criminal investigation about what he described as “brutal and brazen shooting of an unarmed person” in a viral video showing the execution of a Ukrainian soldier, and accused Russia of ignoring the laws of war.
The 12-second footage widely shared on Twitter shows an apparently unarmed man, dressed in uniform and wearing a Ukrainian flag badge on his arm, standing and smoking in a wooded area. The man says:Glory to Ukraine”.
Multiple shots are heard coming from an unseen shooter or shooters, and the man falls to the ground as the bullets appear to impact his body. A voice is heard saying “Die, bitch” in Russian.
The video, whose authenticity, date or place could not be verified, was denounced by Ukrainian leaders and sparked repudiation on the networks.
President Volodimir Zelenskiy, merely noting that the video had appeared on Monday, said it showed Russian occupiers brutally killing a soldier and that the killers would be found.
“Video footage has surfaced (showing) how the occupiers brutally killed the soldier, who had bravely said into their eyes: ‘Glory to Ukraine. I want all of us united to respond to his words: Glory to the hero! Glory to the heroes! Glory to Ukraine! And we will find the murderers, ”he expressed in his daily message.
The head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said the man was a Ukrainian prisoner of war and that the incident was part of a “deliberate policy of terror” by Russia. “The murder of a captive is the latest Russian war crime,” Yermak wrote in a tweet. “For every such war crime there will be reprisals.”
who was the soldier killed
For its part, the Facebook page of the 30 Brigade Ukrainian indicated that he would have belonged to their ranks.
“According to preliminary data, the dead man is a soldier from the 30th separate mechanical brigade Timofy Mykolajovich Shadura. Timothy Shadura is considered missing since February 3, 2023 after fighting in the Bakhmut city area,” they said.
As they added, the soldier’s body remains in occupied territory and confirmation of the identification will be made when the corpse is returned and analyzed.
Ukrainian and Western authorities say there is evidence of thousands of war crimes committed in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022. Russia has repeatedly denied that its forces have committed atrocities or attacked civilians in Ukraine.
Kostin said on his Telegram channel that Ukraine’s security service had registered the shooting as a criminal case under a part of the country’s criminal code that covers violations of the laws and customs of war.
“Even war has its own laws,” he said, adding that prosecutors from his office would take the case. “There are norms of international law that the Russian criminal regime systematically ignores. But sooner or later, there will be punishment.”
(With information from Reuters)
kyiv announced that there are already 30 countries that support the creation of a court to judge Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
Zelensky asked the Ukrainian Army to “find the strength” to defend Bakhmut from the Russian siege