Footage has emerged purporting to show the moment a Ukrainian soldier was executed by Russian troops.
In his final defiant moments, he said ‘Slava Ukraini’ – glory to Ukraine – and dragged on his last cigarette.
In the background, men believed to be Russian soldiers shouted ‘you’re a bitch. die bitch’ before shooting him dead.
The video has since been shared across social media, although it is not clear when it was filmed.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to avenge his death as the spectre of Russian war crimes once again rears its ugly head.
A woman has now come forward claiming that the solder in the video is his brother.
She said that he served in the Mechanised Brigade, which has been fightingRussian forces in Bakhmut and Dronivka.
She said: ‘My brother would certainly be capable of standing up to the Russians like that.
‘He never hid the truth in his life and certainly wouldn’t do so in front of the enemy.’
While Moscow has yet to publicly comment on the video, Zelensky has vowed to track down the soldier’s alleged killers.
He said in his evening address yesterday: ‘Today, a video appeared of the occupiers brutally killing a soldier, who bravely said to their faces: “Glory to Ukraine!”.’
‘I want us all to respond to these words together, in unity: “Glory to the hero! Glory to the heroes! Glory to Ukraine!”
‘We will find the murderers.’
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said it is ‘imperative’ that International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan probe the ‘heinous war crime’.
‘Horrific video of an unarmed Ukrainian POW executed by Russian forces merely for saying ‘Glory to Ukraine’. Another (piece of) proof this war is genocidal,’ he tweeted.
The country’s human rights commissioner, Dmytro Lubinets, accused Moscow of breaking the Geneva Conventions regarding POWs.
‘The shooting of a captured Ukrainian serviceman is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, a manifestation of baseness and meanness,’ he said in a statement tweeted by the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada.
Thanking both those who are fighting on the frontline and the nation’s allies, Zelsenky added: ‘Eternal memory and honour to all those who gave lives for freedom for our people.
‘Eternal memory and honour to all Ukrainian heroes of different times who dreamed and fought for freedom for Ukraine.’
As early as March 2, only a few days after Russia’s war against Ukraine started, the ICC began investigating possible war crimes and other atrocities in the country.
An UN-appointed panel of legal experts found evidence that Russian soldiers have raped and tortured women and children in Ukraine.
The panel’s chairman, Erik Mose, told the UN Human Rights Council last September that the victims included children as young as four-years-old.
‘We were struck by the large number of executions in the areas that we visited,’ Mose said.
‘Prior detention, hands tied behind backs, gunshot wounds to the head and slit throats’, are the common themes of such killings.
The panel’s investigation added to a lengthy list of alleged atrocities being probed by Ukrainian and international investigators.
They include the wave of massacres in the commuter town of Bucha, just outside of Kyiv, and the mass grave site found in reclaimed Izyum.
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