Russian soldiers are ‘beasts,’ Zelenskyy says over beheading video

Russian soldiers are ‘beasts,’ Zelenskyy says over beheading video
Опубликовано: Wednesday, 12 April 2023 10:30

Footage showing murder of Ukrainian soldier is ‘a video of Russia as it is,’ Ukrainian president says.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday condemned Russians forces as “beasts” over the execution of a Ukrainian soldier, who appeared to be beheaded while still alive in a video published on social media.

Zelenskyy’s reaction comes as Kyiv is ramping up diplomatic pressure over Moscow’s presence in international forums ranging from the U.N. Security Council to the Olympics.

“There is something that no one in the world can ignore: how easily these beasts kill,” the Ukrainian president said in a video posted on Twitter.

“This video, the execution of a Ukrainian captive, the world must see it,” he added. “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.”

In recent days, two videos have appeared. One supposedly filmed by Wagner group mercenaries shows the bodies of two Ukrainian soldiers, whose heads and hands were cut off, and appeared on pro-Russian social channels. Another — seeming shot in the summer — shows a Russian use a knife to sever the head of Ukrainian prisoner, who appears to be pleading with his killer.

POLITICO was not able to independently verify the videos.

Last month, another video showed a Ukrainian soldier saying “Slava Ukraini” (Glory to Ukraine) shortly before being executed by Russian troops.

Zelenskyy called on world leaders to act, saying “action [was] required now.”

“This is is not an accident, this is not an episode. This was the case before,” the Ukrainian president added.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also reacted to the execution video, saying Russia, which is currently presiding over the United Nations Security Council, “must be kicked out of Ukraine and the UN, and be held accountable for [its] crimes.

Ukrainian authorities have called for the creation of a special tribunal to rule over war crimes committed by Russian forces since the launch of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Moscow has denied committing war crimes in Ukraine — in spite of numerous reports showing otherwise, as well as the issuance of an arrest warrant last month against President Vladimir Putin over the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

“We are not going to forget anything. Nor are we going to forgive the murderers,” Zelenskyy said in his video address Wednesday.

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