Ukraine says it has identified a soldier filmed being shot dead in a viral video that sparking outrage and spurring officials to demand a probe, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowing to find the ‘murderers’.
The footage – circulated widely on social media – shows what appears to be a detained Ukrainian combatant standing in a shallow trench, smoking. Moments after saying ‘Glory to Ukraine,’ he is gunned down and slumps to the ground.
The phrase spoken by the alleged detained Ukrainian soldier was trending on social media on Monday. Officials in Kyiv blamed Russian forces and called for justice.
‘According to preliminary information, the deceased is a serviceman of the 30th separate mechanized brigade, Tymofiy Mykolayovych Shadura,’ the brigade’s Facebook post said. He was a father of five, reports say.
‘The command of the 30th separate mechanized brigade and the Hero’s brothers express their sincere condolences to his relatives and friends. Revenge for our Hero will be inevitable. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!’ it said.
Ukraine says it has identified a soldier filmed being shot dead in a viral video that sparking outrage and spurring officials to demand a probe. Kyiv said the man was Tymofiy Mykolayovych Shadura, a 41-year-old thought to be from Mala Derevychka village
The footage – circulated widely on social media – shows what appears to be a detained Ukrainian combatant standing in a shallow trench, smoking. Moments after saying ‘Glory to Ukraine,’ he is gunned down and slumps to the ground
Shadura had been missing since February 3 amid fighting near the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, it said. ‘The final confirmation of his identity can be established after the body is returned,’ it added.
The 41-year-old is thought to be from Mala Derevychka village, Zhytomyr region.
Kyiv said the killed soldier’s remains were located in territory currently controlled by Russian forces. Bakhmut is in Ukraine’s eastern
AFP could not independently verify where or when the footage was filmed or whether it showed – as Ukrainian officials and social media users suggested – a Ukrainian prisoner of war.
In an address to the nation on Monday, Zelensky said the video showed Russian forces ‘brutally killing’ a Ukrainian serviceman.
‘We will find the murderers,’ he vowed.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called earlier for the International Criminal Court to probe the footage.
Journalist Vasily Krutchak wrote on Facebook that the man’s sister strongly believes that her brother was the man machined gunned in the genocidal execution.
‘I just talked on the phone with Timofey’s sister, Olga,’ he said.
‘She said that she was 90 per cent sure that the man who was shot is her brother.’
Later the sister told the BBC Ukrainian service she was 100 per cent certain.
‘This is my brother. It’s his eyes, his voice and the way he smoked a cigarette,’ she said, according to producer Sofia Kochmar-Tymoshenko.
‘My brother would certainly be capable of standing up to the Russians like that,’ she told the British broadcaster. ‘He never hid the truth in his life and certainly wouldn’t do so in front of the enemy.’
Subsequently she posted on social media: ‘Six family members are sure it’s their brother and son.’
No final identity can be established until Russia allows the bullet-riddled corpse to be repatriated – if it ever does.
The ‘Glory to Ukraine’ phrase and the response ‘Heroyam Slava’, or ‘Glory to the Heroes’, has been a hallmark of post-Soviet Ukraine, but it has taken on special significance as a common greeting in public life since the start of the war.
MailOnline was not immediately able to verify the authenticity, date or location of the video. Russia’s Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a query about it when contacted by Reuters news agency.
The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces called the shooting of an unarmed prisoner ‘a cynical and brazen disregard for the norms of international humanitarian law and the customs of war. This is what worthless murderers do, not warriors.
‘The Russian occupiers have once again shown that their main goal in Ukraine is the brutal extermination of Ukrainians.’
A lawyer who was wounded in battle last year said he was collecting money for a reward to anyone who identified those responsible. He personally pledged $1,000.
Ukrainian authorities did not say where or when the shooting occurred.
Within hours, #GloryToUkraine became one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter.
Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, said Ukraine’s security service had registered the shooting as a criminal case under a part of the criminal code that covers violations of war laws and customs.
In the horrifying footage, the lone man is seen on video smoking and saying ‘Glory to Uklraine’ before he is shot dead. He has been hailed a martyr in his homeland.
A voice is heard off camera saying ‘You’re a b***. Die, b***’ – and then he is riddled with bullets. His body slups to the ground in a blink of an eye.
Andriy Yermak, Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, insisted: ‘There will be retribution for every such war crime. No-one can hide. We will find everyone.’
Moscow and Kyiv have on several occasions accused each other of killing prisoners in the year since Russia invaded Ukraine.
There is also video footage of the Russian Wagner Private Military Company killing deserters in brutal ways, and reports of them executing their own troops.
Ukrainian and Western authorities say there is evidence for 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.
Speaking in November last year, a senior US official said that actions by Russian soldiers could even implicate top officials in war crimes.
Ukrainian and Western authorities say there is evidence for 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. Pictured: Volunteers lower into a grave a coffin with one of fifteen unidentified people killed by Russian troops in Bucha
US ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice Beth Van Schaack told reporters that there was strong evidence that Russian abuses in Ukraine were not random.
There is mounting evidence that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ‘has been accompanied by systemic war crimes committed in every region where Russian forces have been deployed,’ she said.
Evidence from liberated areas indicates ‘deliberate, indiscriminate and disproportionate’ attacks against civilian populations, custodial abuses of civilians and POWs, forceful removal, or filtration, of Ukrainian citizens – including children – to Russia, and execution-like murders and sexual violence,’ she told reporters.
‘When we’re seeing such systemic acts, including the creation of a vast filtration network, it’s very hard to imagine how these crimes could be committed without responsibility going all the way up the chain of command,’ she said.