Ukraine hunts Russian killers of unarmed soldier

Ukraine has vowed to find the Russian soldiers who apparently killed an unarmed Ukrainian prisoner of war, after graphic footage emerged online.

“We will find the murderers,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said late on Monday.

In the video, the Ukrainian sol­dier is seen smoking a cigarette in a trench. He says “glory to Ukraine” before being shot with automatic weapons.

He was named on Tuesday by the Ukrainian military as Tymofiy Shadura, who had been missing since February 3.

The 30th Separate Mechanised Brigade said he was last seen near the eastern city of Bakhmut – the scene of fierce fighting in recent months.

“Currently, the body of our serviceman is in the temporarily occupied territory,” the statement said, citing preliminary information. It added the identification could be completed after the body was returned.

Before the soldier was named, Mr Shadura’s sister told the BBC: “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.”

In the footage, one of the shoot­ers – believed to be a Russian soldier – is heard saying “die” and using an expletive after the prisoner of war (POW) is shot dead.The alleged killer or killers – who are not seen in the clip – have not been identified.

The BBC has not verified where and when the footage was made, or how the soldier was captured. It first emerged on social media on Monday. Russia has not publicly commented on the incident.

The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said: “The shooting of an unarmed prisoner is a cynical and brazen disregard for the norms of international humanitarian law and the customs of war. This is what worthless murderers do, not warriors.

“The Russian occupiers have once again shown that their main goal in Ukraine is the brutal exter­mination of Ukrainians.”

Kyiv and its Western allies have accused Russian troops of com­mitting mass war crimes since President Vladimir Putin launched a full scale-invasion of Ukraine on February 24,2022. Russia denies the allegations. —BBC

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