Ukraine investigates suspected beheading of soldier by Russia, prosecutors say

By Thomson Reuters Jun 18, 2024 | 11:18 AM

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine is investigating the suspected beheading of one of its servicemen by Russian forces in an occupied part of the eastern Donetsk region, the Ukrainian general prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

Russia, which has repeatedly denied its forces carry out war crimes during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched in February 2022, has made no comment on the allegation.

“The fact of decapitation of a Ukrainian defender was recorded in the Donetsk region,” Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin wrote on the X social media platform.

In a statement, the general prosecutor’s office said the severed head of a Ukrainian soldier had been identified on a damaged armoured vehicle during aerial reconnaissance of the area.

It said the Ukrainian military had received information on Monday that members of a unit of Russian forces in Donetsk region’s Volnovaha district had ordered their subordinates not to capture Ukrainian servicemen and to behead them.

Kostin posted an image on X of a damaged military vehicle that had an object on its bonnet that had been pixelated. Reuters could not independently verify the image.

Kostin says that Ukraine has documented nearly 130,000 war crimes committed by Russia.

Kyiv in early 2023 accused Russian forces of shooting dead a captured Ukrainian sniper after he said “Glory to Ukraine” in a video posted on social media.

Reuters was not able to verify the video. Russia’s Defence Ministry did not respond to a query about it.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Yuliia Dysa; editing by Tomasz Janowski)