Breaking News & Top Stories


Ukraine probes alleged beheading of captured soldier by Russian forces

Kyiv launched a contemporary battle crimes investigation towards Russian forces and known as for co-ordinated worldwide motion after movies shared on social media appeared to indicate the beheading of a Ukrainian prisoner of battle.

“This video, the execution of a Ukrainian captive . . . The world should see it. It is a video of Russia as it’s,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned in a video deal with dubbed into English.

“This isn’t an episode . . . this was the case in Bucha. 1000’s of instances,” Zelenskyy mentioned on Wednesday, referring to alleged mass executions and atrocities towards civilians within the Kyiv suburb Bucha and different areas since Russian president Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine greater than a 12 months in the past.

Worldwide leaders “should react” to assist Ukraine full “the defeat of terror”, Zelenskyy added. In a put up on Twitter overseas minister Dmytro Kuleba described the video as “horrific” and mentioned “it’s absurd that Russia . . . is presiding over the UN Safety Council. Russian terrorists should be kicked out of Ukraine and the UN.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday prompt the beheading movies could possibly be fakes.

“We dwell on the earth of fakes, so it’s crucial to verify the authenticity of this horrific footage. After which it may well turn out to be a purpose to analyze the place it came about and by whom,” Peskov mentioned.

The video first appeared on the Telegram messaging app. Within the minute-and-half lengthy video, a Russian fighter in camouflage cuts a Ukrainian soldier’s neck with a knife. One other man talking in Russian is heard off-camera encouraging his colleague. A flak jacket adorned with Ukrainian navy patches lies close by. The video ends with the Russian fighter lifting the Ukrainian’s head in the direction of the digital camera. Foliage within the video suggests it may need been filmed final summer season or early autumn. The precise time and placement in Ukraine are unknown.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, shared a blurred model of the video on Twitter.

“I’m sure that this isn’t the final video of one of many [conflict] events killing a prisoner of battle,” mentioned a put up on the Gray Zone Telegram channel which is carefully linked to the Wagner paramilitary group preventing in Ukraine. Wagner is run by Putin’s shut affiliate Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“In battle the enemies’ heads, ears and different organs are lower off . . . That is dangerous, however that is the worth of battle,” it added.

A number of Russian far-right and neo-Nazi teams with channels on Telegram, together with the extremist Rusich navy group, promoted the video throughout their networks.

“You may be shocked what number of of those movies will steadily pop up,” mentioned a Rusich channel which shared the video, including a smiley face emoji.

Earlier than Zelenskyy’s deal with, Vasyl Malyuk, head of Ukraine’s SBU state safety service, mentioned in a press release {that a} pre-trial investigation had been launched into the alleged beheading, whereas pledging to carry these responsible accountable.

Ukrainian and worldwide authorities are investigating scores of battle crimes allegedly dedicated by Russia towards Ukrainian civilians and troops, together with the execution of Oleksandr Matsievskyi, a prisoner of battle, earlier this 12 months for chanting “Glory to Ukraine”. Zelenskyy posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to Matsievskyi, a sniper with a territorial defence brigade working in Chernihiv north of Kyiv.

A video shared final November confirmed Russian fighters from Wagner killing a deserter with a sledgehammer.

The Worldwide Prison Court docket final month issued an arrest warrant for Putin and one other high Russian official for deporting Ukrainian kids to Russia. The incidents occurred principally in jap and southern areas the place Russian forces proceed to occupy some 18 per cent of Ukrainian territory.

Zelenskyy in his deal with moved to mobilise Ukrainians because the nation’s armed forces proceed to obtain contemporary shipments of Nato-grade weaponry from western backers forward of an anticipated spring counteroffensive.

“We in Ukraine should give attention to the frontline as a lot as doable. Expel the occupier from our land,” Zelenskyy mentioned, including that the principle objectives had been “defeat of the occupier, sentences to the murders; [a war crimes] tribunal for the evil state”.

Extra reporting by Polina Ivanova and Anastasia Stognei