By David Propper
March 7, 2023
The New York Post
Ukrainian officials have launched a probe into horrific footage that purports to show an unarmed soldier shot and killed by Russian forces right after he proclaimed one last battle cry.
The disturbing footage, which has rapidly circulated around social media, was addressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his nightly speech Monday.
“Today, a video emerged of the occupiers brutally killing a warrior who bravely said to their faces: ‘Glory to Ukraine!’” Zelensky said. “I want us all to respond to his words together, in unity: ‘Glory to the Hero! Glory to the Heroes! Glory to Ukraine!’ And we will find the murderers.” It’s unclear when or where the footage was taken and it has not been verified — but it once again raises the specter of Russian soldiers committing heinous war crimes more than a year into its invasion of Ukraine.
In the video, a soldier is seen standing and smoking a cigarette. He recites “glory to Ukraine” in Ukrainian before he is apparently gunned down by an unseen shooter or shooters.
The man quickly collapses into a shallow hole dug in the ground as a voice is heard saying “die, b—h” in Russian.
The soldier had a Ukrainian flag insignia on the arm of his uniform, according to footage.
Ukraine’s chief prosecutor announced a criminal probe is underway into the alleged execution.
“Even the war has its own laws,” Andriy Kostin, the country’s prosecutor general, said “There are rules of international law systematically ignored by the Russian criminal regime. But sooner than later, there will be punishment.”
Andriy Yermak, the head of Kyiv’s presidential office, said the man was a Ukrainian prisoner of war and the shooting was part of a “deliberate policy of terror” by Moscow.
“The murder of a captive is the latest Russian war crime,” Yermak wrote in a tweet. “For every such war crime there will be retribution.”
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, countless accusations of war crimes have been leveled against the Kremlin by Kyiv and Western allies, with estimates into the thousands.
Moscow has denied barbaric acts and targeted attacks on civilians.
Zelensky estimated more than 70,000 Russian war crimes have been committed so far when he met Friday with US Attorney General Merrick Garland and top European legal officials.