The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is urging its citizens to refrain from spreading the video of the beheading of a Ukrainian soldier by Russian forces.
The Ministry also asked the public to avoid making assumptions about the identity of the deceased.
The Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Hanna Maliar reported that Ukrainian authorities are carefully studying the video “frame by frame” to identify those responsible.
Maliar took to her Telegram channel and posted the following,
“Russian war criminals will definitely answer for their crime!
From the first minutes of the appearance of the video of the execution of a Ukrainian soldier by Russian inhumans, all competent Ukrainian services carefully study it frame by frame in order to identify war criminals. Tonight, together with other law enforcement agencies and special services, we did just that.
We are doing everything to identify the deceased. It is important for all of us to understand that identifying a person on video, and even more so a person in such circumstances, is an extremely difficult task. Therefore, we ask you to refrain from publicly voicing any versions until official conclusions are reached. Please be respectful of the loved ones of the deceased, do not make any public assumptions about the identity of the deceased, even if you are absolutely sure that you have identified him.
We urge you to stop the distribution of this video, as well as any similar footage. Now that everyone has seen it, prosecutors and the International Court of Justice should look at it.
Remember, the enemy wants to intimidate us. Wants to make us weaker. But all he will receive in return is our rage and the complete defeat of the occupiers, sentences for murderers and a tribunal for the aggressor state.”
The Security Service of Ukraine has launched a pre-trial investigation into the beheading of the Ukrainian prisoner.
The head of the Security Service has pledged that the security forces will find the perpetrators.
For those who are just now hearing about the video in question, here is an explanation.
On April 11th, a video depicting a Ukrainian prisoner of war being beheaded went viral on social media.
The footage shows a Russian soldier decapitating a Ukrainian soldier who was still alive at the time.
In the video, the Russian soldiers are heard making comments such as “Break his spine, f**k, have you never cut off a head?”, “Get working, brothers”.
At the end, the severed head is shown to the camera.
They apparently state, “it should be sent to the victim’s commander.”
Although the identity of the Ukrainian soldier in the video is still unconfirmed, Ukrainian officials have launched an investigation into the matter.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on world leaders to respond to the video.