The Ukrainian military on Tuesday identified a soldier it said was shot dead by "Russian invaders" in a video posted on social media, hailing him as a hero whose death would be avenged.
In a message posted on Facebook, the 30th Mechanized Brigade identified the soldier as Tymofiy Shadura. He said he had been missing since February 3, following hostilities around the eastern city of Bakhmut, the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the war in Ukraine.
The brigade, which is part of the Ukrainian ground forces, confirmed that the disappearance would be confirmed when the body was returned from territory occupied by Russian forces.
The 12-second video shows an apparently unarmed man, dressed in uniform and wearing a Ukrainian flag badge on his arm, standing and smoking a cigarette in a wooded area.
The man says "Slava Ukraini!" - or "Glory to Ukraine!" - before multiple shots are heard coming from an unseen shooter or shooters. The man falls to the ground as the bullets seem to hit his body. A voice is heard saying "Die, bitch" in Russian.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said the video showed Russian occupiers killing a soldier, and the man was quickly hailed as a hero by Ukrainians on social media, with many users posting "Heroyam Slava" in response.
"According to preliminary information, the deceased is a soldier of the 30th mechanized brigade, Tymofiy Mykolayovych Shadura," the brigade said on Facebook.
The command of the 30th mechanized brigade expressed his sincere condolences to his family and friends. "Vengeance for our hero will be inevitable. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes."
The phrase "Glory to Ukraine" and the response "Heroyam Slava", or "Glory to the heroes", has been a hallmark of post-Soviet Ukraine, but it has acquired a special meaning as a common greeting in public life since the beginning. from the war.
Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity, date or location of the video. The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a query on the matter.
A lawyer who was injured in combat last year said he was raising money to offer a reward to whoever identified those responsible. He personally pledged $1,000.
Ukrainian authorities did not say where or when the shooting took place.
Andriy Kostin, Ukraine's prosecutor general, said the Ukrainian security service had registered the shooting as a criminal case under a part of the criminal code that covers violations of the laws and customs of war.
The Ukrainian ombudsman, Dmitro Lubinets, has denounced as a war crime the execution of a soldier from his country at the hands of Russian soldiers when he shouted "Glory Ukraine" ("Slava Ukraini!") and whose video has been released by social networks.
Ukrainian and Western authorities say there is evidence of thousands of war crimes committed in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February 2022. Russia has repeatedly denied that its forces have committed atrocities or attacked civilians.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project