Zelensky blasts Russia over beheading video

Zelensky blasts Russia over beheading video

KYIV: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday denounced Russian “beasts” after a video appeared to show the beheading of a Ukrainian prisoner, prompting international outrage. The emergence of the disturbing footage, which was unable to independently verify, sparked fury in Ukraine, with Kyiv saying Russia is “worse than ISIS” — a reference to the militant Islamic State group. The European Union pledged to hold war criminals to account, while a UN mission in Ukraine said it was “appalled”.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine also pointed to another video that is spreading online, saying it “shows mutilated bodies of apparent Ukrainian POWs”. It was not clear when or where the video was filmed. Ukrainian authorities said they were trying to identify the victim.

Following the emergence of a new video, Zelensky said in an address posted to social media that “the world must see” what he called an “execution of a Ukrainian captive.

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“There is something that no one in the world can ignore: how easily these beasts kill,” the grim-faced Ukrainian leader said. “We won’t forget anything, nor will we forgive murderers,” he added.

Zelensky urged world leaders to act and help Ukraine defeat Russia as Kyiv forces prepare a counter-offensive after a months-long stalemate on the battlefield. The video, which lasts around one minute 40 seconds, shows a masked man in camouflage decapitating another man in uniform.

After the screams stop, other voices are heard encouraging the attacker in Russian.

After the man is decapitated, a voice is heard saying that the head should be sent “to the commander”. The victim’s vest bearing the Ukrainian trident and a skull can also be seen in the footage.

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