A sickening video that appears to show Putin‘s soldiers beheading a live Ukrainian prisoner of war with a knife has sparked fury in Kyiv with President Zelensky calling for world leaders to condemn and punish war criminals.
The barbaric footage shows a masked man violently sawing at the neck of a prisoner wearing Ukrainian insignia who is trapped beneath him on the ground.
The victim is seen writhing on the forest floor, screaming ‘it hurts!’ and ‘stop!’ as his murderer, wearing a white ribbon associated with Russian forces, hacks at his arteries with the steel blade.
A voice from another apparent Russian fighter taunts the killer to behead and break the spine of the stricken man.
‘Send it to Kyiv, *****,’ a voice says in a foul-mouthed rant. ‘Cut it off, *****! Break the spine!’
‘What, you never cut a head off, *****? Do it, do it, do it, *****!’
The video concludes with the executioner holding the decapitated, bloodied head up to the camera as he is told to ‘bag it and send it to the commander’.
The barbaric footage shows a masked man violently sawing at the neck of a prisoner wearing Ukrainian insignia who is trapped beneath him on the ground
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba compared Russia to ISIS after watching the video
President Volodymyr Zelensky reacts to the sickening video purporting to show a Russian soldier beheading captured Ukrainian PoW with a knife
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said of the video: ‘A horrific video of Russian troops decapitating a Ukrainian prisoner of war is circulating online.
‘It’s absurd that Russia, which is worse than ISIS, is presiding over the [United Nations Security Council… Russian terrorists must be kicked out of Ukraine and the UN and be held accountable for their crimes.’
Militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were notorious for releasing videos of beheadings of captives when they controlled swathes of those countries from 2014-2017.
A visibly shaken Zelensky expressed his disgust at the bestial actions of the Russian troops and demanded that world leaders condemn the brutality.
The president said in recorded remarks: ‘This video – the execution of a Ukrainian captive – the world must see it. This is a video of Russia as it is – what kind of creatures they are.
‘There are no people for them. A son, a brother, a husband – someone’s child.’
The video showed the ‘new norm’ that Putin’s Russia wanted to impose, he said.
‘Such a habit of destroying life. This is not an accident. This is not an episode. There was the case in Bucha.
‘Don’t expect it to be forgotten, that time will pass. We are not going to forget anything. Neither are we going to forgive the murderers.
‘There will be legal responsibility for everything. The defeat of terror is necessary.
‘No-one will understand if the leaders don’t react. Action is required now!’ he concluded.
Ukraine’s domestic security agency, the SBU, said it had launched an investigation into a suspected war crime over the video.
‘We will find these subhumans. 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,’ stressed SBU Head Vasyl Malyuk.
Meanwhile, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted the beheading footage was ‘horrific’ but questioned whether it was genuine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the video was ‘awful’ but pushed for the clip to be verified as authentic
Oleg Tsaryov, a staunchly pro-Moscow Ukrainian businessman and politician, said: ‘Cutting off the head of a captive is a crime. I cannot find a definition for those who post all this on the net’
‘The footage of the beheading of a soldier is horrific, it should be verified,’ he said.
‘There could be reason to check where it happened, [and] on whose side.’
‘First it is necessary to check whether the footage is true.
‘Of course it is terrible footage.
‘First it is necessary to check whether it is credible, and then, of course, there may be an opportunity to verify whether this is true, where it happened and by which side.
‘I would like to say that first of all, in the fake world we live in, we need to check the authenticity of this footage.’
The grotesque 90-second clip shows the murder took place in a leafy green forest, suggesting that it is likely to have been filmed last summer.
But no other information about the circumstances of the killing was provided.
Putin’s fighting force in Ukraine comprises men from multiple ethnic groups in the Urals, Siberia and the Russian Far East, as well as ethnic Russians.
A glimpse of the executioner’s face suggests he has Asiatic features.
Oleg Tsaryov, a staunchly pro-Moscow Ukrainian businessman and politician, said: ‘Cutting off the head of a captive is a crime.
‘Filming it on camera is idiotic.
‘I cannot find a definition for those who post all this on the net.
‘All I know is that if there is no legal punishment for this, there will be no state.’