Who is this Ukrainian soldier executed by Russia and turned into a symbol?
This Ukrainian soldier, shot dead in cold blood, became the new martyr of Kiev
A new war crime?
This shocking video of just 12 seconds has been viral on the internet for a few days. We see a Ukrainian soldier with a cigarette in his mouth staring at a Russian soldier from the off. The latter calls out a few words in Russian, to which the Ukrainian soldier without weapons and helmet replies “Slava Ukraine” («Glory of Ukraine“). In response, the latter is shot cold by several bursts of fire, and the cameraman smacks him with “The Bastard” in prayer.
According to the UN, the video looks authentic. The executed was even identified. It would be Tymofii Mykolayovych Shadura, soldier of the 30th Mechanized Brigade. The spokesman for the same brigade told AFP that the 41-year-old soldier, who was mobilized in Bakhmout in Dombass in December, had been missing since February 3. The man would therefore be a prisoner of war who was executed in cold blood for loudly expressing his support for his country. Another war crime from Russia? The Ukrainian foreign minister has called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
A national hero who supports the war effort
In a matter of hours, this video went around the world, elevating this Ukrainian soldier to the rank of a national hero. While fighting raged in Bakhmout in Donbass, this man, who never lowered his gaze in the face of the enemy, maintained the spirit of resistance and remained an effective lever for mobilizing the nation. Artists quickly picked up this image of the Ukrainian soldier and created numerous portraits to the glory of this soldier and Ukraine. In a televised speech, Zelenskyy asked the population to sing this now-famous “Honour of Ukraine” and confided “we will find the murderers” in order to conclude “High honor that defends Ukraine”.
The Battle of Bakhmout, nicknamed the “Meat Grinder,” claims around 1,000 lives a day. On March 8, NATO announced that the city would fall into the hands of the Russian army, but Ukrainian resistance continues to defy successive attacks by the Wagner militia. Although reduced to ashes, this strategic place is still inhabited by more than 4000 residents who, out of conviction and pride, refuse to leave. According to US intelligence services, there is one Ukrainian loss for every five Russian losses. “It’s called a war of attrition. We try to destroy as many opponents as possible.” said General Christophe Gomart, former director of French military intelligence.