Espreso. Global

We need to defeat terror - Zelenskyy reacts to video of Ukrainian soldier’s execution, SBU opens case

12 April, 2023 Wednesday

On the evening of April 11, a video was posted online showing Russian occupiers executing a man, calling him a Ukrainian soldier. The SBU has launched an investigation

The video was shared on Twitter and Telegram.

In the video, the invaders kill the man by cutting off his head. At the same time, one of the occupiers gives advice to the other on how to act. In addition, the invaders express their admiration for Ukrainian equipment and weapons.

The man was conscious before the execution.

The video has already been commented on by the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Malyuk, who noted that a pre-trial investigation into this war crime under Part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine has been launched. 

"We will find these monsters. If necessary, we will get them wherever they are: from underground or from the other world. But they will definitely be punished for what they have done," Malyuk emphasized.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy also commented on the video.

"There is something that no one in the world can ignore: how easily these animals kill. This video, of the execution of a Ukrainian prisoner, should be seen by the world. This is a video of Russia in its true form. What kind of creatures are they? There are no people for them. A son, a brother, a husband, someone's child... This is a video of Russia trying to make this the new normal, a habit of destroying lives," the Head of State said.

"We are not going to forget anything and forgive the killers. There will be legal accountability for everything. We need to defeat terror," he added.

Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar asked Ukrainians to refrain from assuming the identity of the deceased. All competent Ukrainian services are examining the video, she emphasized.

"We are doing everything to identify the deceased. It is important for all of us to understand that identifying a person from a video, and especially a person in such circumstances, is an extremely difficult task. Therefore, we ask you to refrain from publicly voicing any versions until the official conclusions are made. Please be respectful of the victim's family, do not make any public assumptions about the identity of the victim, even if you are absolutely sure that you have recognized him," Malyar wrote.

"We call for a halt to the dissemination of this video, as well as any similar footage. Now when everyone has seen it, the prosecutors and the International Court of Justice should examine it," she added.

On the evening of April 11, after the video began to spread on social media, the head of the Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak, made a short post on Telegram.

"There will be an answer and accountability for everything," Yermak wrote.

Later, Daria Zarivna, Communications Advisor to the Head of Ukraine's Presidential Office, said that the video was posted for intimidation purposes.

"About the video. It completely dehumanizes and demonstrates the whole essence of the terrorist country. But it is important to understand the purpose. This is a PSYOP aimed at intimidation. The target audience is not only Ukraine, but also Western society. It doesn't work on us, though. The Russians are afraid of this, but we are not," she wrote on Telegram.

A few hours after the video appeared, the Ukrainian OSINT community DeepState announced that it had begun searching for the executed soldier's colleagues. According to them, he could have disappeared between May and August 2022.

According to CNN, two similar videos appeared online last week. "The videos probably show separate events. One of them could have been recorded recently, and the other - judging by the amount of greenery - was probably filmed in the summer," the article says.

It is noted that the first video was published on a pro-Russian social media channel on April 8. It was deliberately filmed by Wagner's mercenaries and shows two decapitated bodies of Ukrainian soldiers lying on the ground next to a destroyed military vehicle. The publication also suggests that the hands of both soldiers are also cut off.

"Russian social media accounts claim that the video was filmed near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, where the fiercest fighting has been taking place in recent months, with Wagner's militants taking an active role," the statement said.

The second video, which appeared on Twitter and was blurred, was probably recorded in the summer, given the number of plants in the frame.

"They try to show a Russian soldier using a knife to behead a Ukrainian soldier. The voice at the beginning of the video suggests that the victim could still be alive when the violence began," CNN emphasizes.

Espreso does not publish the video and does not recommend watching it, especially for people with a sensitive psyche.

  • Earlier, the Russian occupiers released a video of the execution of a Ukrainian prisoner of war for shouting "Glory to Ukraine!" The SBU established that the soldier executed by the Russians was a sniper of the 163rd Battalion of the 119th Separate Tank Brigade of the Chernihiv region, Oleksandr Ihorovych Matsievskyi.

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded Matsievskyi the title of Hero of Ukraine.

  • In 2022, the Russian occupiers released a video of how they cut off a Ukrainian prisoner of war's genitals and then killed him.

  • After the de-occupation, a mass grave was discovered in Izium: most of the bodies belonged to civilians, and several dozen showed signs of torture, including the cutting off of several men's genitals.

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