The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have confirmed the identity of the Ukrainian soldier who was executed in a video that appeared online on March 6. Oleksandr Matsiievskyi – a soldier of the 163rd battalion of the 119th Territorial Defence Brigade of Chernihiv Oblast – was the prisoner-of-war (POW) in the video, according to an official statement from the Ukrainian army.
A report by the Directorate of the AFU's Northern Defence Force said that on December 30, 2022, Matsiievskyi, together with his comrades-in-arms, fought the Russian army near Soledar. Nothing was known about the group’s fate after that date, and contact with Matsiievskyi was lost. It is also unknown how he was taken prisoner.
Matsiievskyi was recognized by his mother and son, and his identity was also confirmed by other military servicemen. Ukrainian outlet Suspilne published a video interview with his mother on March 8th.
Matsiievskyi worked as an electrician in Kyiv before the war. When the war began, he enlisted as a volunteer in the territorial defence forces in Nizhyn in the Chernihiv region. His body was returned to his relatives as part of a recent exchange between Russia and Ukraine.
Earlier, the AFU mistakenly identified the prisoner-of-war in the video as Tymofii Shadura – a member of the 30th Prince Konstanty Ostrogski Mechanized Brigade. Shadura had been missing since February 3, 2023, and his family assumed he was in the video.
On 6 March, a video allegedly showing a Ukrainian POW being shot by Russian soldiers was widely circulated on social media. In particular, the video was posted on Trukha, a Telegram channel with over 2 million subscribers.
In the video, an unarmed man stands near a dug trench, smoking. A voice outside the frame says: “shoot him.” The man utters: “Glory to Ukraine,” and is then executed with automatic weapons.