Ukrainian Taking Last Drag From Cigarette Before Executed

Ukrainian Taking Last Drag From Cigarette Before Executed

Video footage that emerged this week of the shooting of an unarmed Ukrainian soldier, apparently being held prisoner by Russian troops, has stirred an uproar in Ukraine and been seized on by Ukrainian officials as evidence that Russian forces are continuing to perpetrate war crimes a year into the invasion.

The clip, posted by a unit of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group, shows the man standing in a forest clearing in a military uniform, taking a drag of a cigarette and saying “Glory to Ukraine” in Ukrainian before gunfire rings out and he falls to the ground.

Ukrainian authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the killing, with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday vowing that the soldier’s killers would be found.

In a post to Facebook, the 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade of Ukraine’s armed forces on Tuesday identified the soldier as Tymofiy Shadura. It said he had gone missing on Feb. 3 after taking part in clashes around Bakhmut, the besieged city that Russia is moving to encircle and where the fiercest fighting of the war is taking place.

In comments to Ukrainian media, a spokesman for the brigade said Mr. Shadura was a former conscript born in 1982 from the Zhytomyr region in central Ukraine who was mobilized into military service last December. His mother and two brothers still live in his home village.

A relative of Mr. Shadura said in an interview Tuesday that the man in the video resembled Mr. Shadura, but that the family has seen conflicting reports on social media and wouldn’t comment until it receives confirmation of the soldier’s identity.

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