Ukraine Condemns Alleged Decapitation Of Captive
Ukrainian officials on Wednesday denounced Russia after a video emerged on social media purportedly showing one of Kyiv’s soldiers being beheaded.
News agencies could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message, “There is something that no one in the world can ignore: how easily these beasts kill.”
Zelenskyy said the video showed the “execution of a Ukrainian captive” and that “everyone must react. Do not expect that it will be forgotten, that time will pass.”
The video appears to show a man in green fatigues with a yellow armband, typically worn by Ukrainian fighters. His screams are heard before another man in camouflage uses a knife to decapitate him.
Ukrainian officials said they were studying the video to identify those responsible, as well as the identity of the victim.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the footage “horrible” but said that its authenticity needed to be verified.
Ukrainian human rights chief Dmytro Lubinets said he would request that the U.N. Human Rights Committee investigate.
Lubinets wrote on Telegram that “a public execution of a captive is yet another indication of a breach of Geneva Convention norms, international humanitarian law, a breach of the fundamental right to life.”
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of committing war crimes and targeting civilians during its invasion of Ukraine, now in its 14th month, while Moscow says it has targeted only military sites and electrical and water infrastructure.
The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of war crimes in the abductions of children from Ukraine.
The war’s front lines have largely been stalemated for months, with much of the fighting centered on the city of Bakhmut.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Wagner forces had gained ground there. Ukrainian officials did not immediately comment, but Zelenskyy has acknowledged fighting is tough in the region and that his troops could pull out if they face a threat of encirclement.
Elsewhere, Ukraine said at least four civilians were wounded when Russian forces attacked a Ukrainian-held town near the shut-down Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
India said Wednesday that Ukraine had asked for its help in the form of humanitarian supplies, including medicine and medical equipment.
India’s foreign ministry said the request came in a letter from Zelenskyy to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, delivered during a visit to India by Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Emine Dzhaparova.
The Indian foreign ministry statement said Dzhaparova also mentioned during her talks that rebuilding Ukraine’s infrastructure could represent an opportunity for Indian companies.
Dzhaparova tweeted during the visit that Ukraine was counting on India “being on the right side at a historic moment.”
India has refrained from condemning Russia’s role in the war and has abstained several times from voting on U.N. resolutions against Moscow. Instead, New Delhi has stressed the need for diplomacy and dialogue on ending the war and has expressed its willingness to contribute to peace efforts.
Zelenskyy, in his nightly address Tuesday, called on the people of Ukraine and Ukraine’s allies to not lose focus or relax at this stage of the conflict.
“We managed to do a lot together with our partners to protect people, Ukraine, and the whole of Europe, but this doesn’t mean it’s time to rest on our laurels,” Zelenskyy said. “The path is ahead. The movement is ahead, something that requires no less unity from us than before, no less focus than before.”