A special Ukrainian unit collects the bodies of Russian soldiers


  • A video featured Wagner mercenaries standing near two decapitated Ukrainian prisoners
  • The Wagner mercenaries stripped the clothes and shoes off the decapitated Ukrainian POWs
  • The Kremlin said the authenticity of the videos needs to be verified

Videos showing Russian soldiers or pro-Russian forces beheading and decapitating Ukrainian prisoners of war have now spread online.

One of the videos, which was first published on the private Telegram channel of Vadislav Pozdniakov, showed a uniformed man wearing a yellow armband lying on the ground. That man is said to be a Ukrainian prisoner of war.

In the video, a man wearing camouflage and a white armband on his leg — a symbol that is often associated with Russian fighters — later stood over the prisoner and used a knife to decapitate him, per The Insider, which saw the video of the incident.

The outlet also noted that several other people were standing around the prisoner and cheering their comrade on during the beheading. Following the beheading, the man recording the video said: "F***ing bag it and send it to the commander."

Another video also featuring the decapitation of Ukrainian prisoners of war also circulated across pro-Russian Telegram channels last week. The second video is believed to have been taken by members of Russia's infamous Wagner private military company near the embattled city of Bakhmut.

The video showed the decapitated bodies of two Ukrainian soldiers who were said to have been killed by a mine, according to a Russian fighter behind the camera. He later said the Ukrainian soldiers had been "stripped of their clothes and shoes."

In response, the Kremlin called the videos of the decapitation "horrifying" but argued that it is important to verify where the videos were taken and by whom.

"Without a doubt, this is a horrifying video," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "But again, I want to say that first of all, in the world of fakes in which we live now, it is necessary to verify the authenticity of this video."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday also condemned the videos, calling the persons behind the beheading "beasts."

"There is something that no one in the world can ignore: how easily these beasts kill. This video. The execution of a Ukrainian captive. The world must see it," he said in a daily address. "This is not an accident. This is not an episode. This was the case earlier. This was the case in Bucha. Thousands of times."

Zelensky ended his speech by vowing that the persons responsible for the heinous crime would be held accountable.

Armed pro-Russian separatists escort a column of Ukrainian prisoners of war through central Donetsk, Aug. 24, 2014. Reuters